Seven passengers on a Lufthansa flight experienced “severe turbulence” while flying over Tennessee and were taken to nearby hospitals after the plane was diverted to Dulles International Airport.
According to a tweet from Stryker Fadhel, the husband of one of the passengers, lightning had reportedly struck the aircraft, and dropped 1,000 feet afterwards.
The Federal Aviation Administration has now begun investigating the incident that occurred on board the Airbus A330, which was en route from Austin, Texas, to Frankfurt, Germany, but has not confirmed the lightning strike.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority reported that after the plane had landed at Dulles, personnel had transported seven people to local hospitals.
Fadhel went on to explain that those who weren’t wearing their seatbelts had mostly sustained injuries as a result of the turbulence.
Susan Zimmerman, a passenger on the flight talked with CNN. She described the experience as a sudden wind shear which caused the plane to rapidly increase in altitude, before suddenly dropping 1,000 feet. This created a sensation for her similar to falling off the top of a rollercoaster, and sent objects flying around the cabin. Zimmerman is five months pregnant.
Lufthansa, in a statement to FOX Business, referred to the turbulence as “brief but severe.” The airline also added that medical attention was given to the affected passengers and that ground staff were attending to them and helping to rebook them. Finally, Lufthansa expressed regret for the inconvenience caused and reiterated that the safety and well-being of passengers and crew members are their top priority.