On 29th August, 2023 a Delta Airlines Airbus A350 encountered severe turbulence while on approach to Atlanta Airport, leading to 12 injuries among passengers and crew members.
The Airbus A350-900 with registration N576DZ was operating flight DL175 from Milan Malpensa, Italy to Atlanta with 151 passengers and 14 crew members onboard.
However, while flight DL175 was descending about 40 miles northeast of Atlanta, the aircraft encountered severe turbulence, leading to the injuries. According to the Aviation Herald, 4 crew members and 8 passengers received minor injuries.
Flight DL175 continued for a safe landing on Atlanta’s runway 08L where 11 of the injured passengers and crew members were taken to a local hospital.
Videos circulating online depict the aftermath of the event, including passengers being carried on stretchers by paramedics and at least one individual disembarking the plane wearing a neck brace.
The airline has also confirmed that the aircraft experienced severe turbulence just before landing in Atlanta.
“Delta Care Team members are mobilizing to connect with customers on Delta Flight 175 that experienced severe turbulence before landing safely in Atlanta Tuesday.”Delta spokesperson
“Our priority is taking care of our customers and crew who sustained injuries. We are grateful for the first responders who met the aircraft to provide medical attention and who are transporting the injured to the hospital,” the spokesperson continued.
A female passenger aboard the flight said that passengers onboard waited for approximately two hours before they were allowed to disembark.
“Looked to be about 12 people with serious head injuries. Several flight attendants, too. Bunch of blood and awfulness. My fiancée and I are so freaked out, that we are renting a car and driving to our final destination instead,” she said.
The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has launched an investigation into the incident. In its statement, the FAA reported: “Aircraft encountered severe turbulence injuring flight attendants and passengers, Atlanta, GA.”
According to both Delta Airlines and the ATC, the incident was not attributed to the impending hurricane Idalia, currently situated southeast of the United States.
Climate scientists and meteorologists have already affirmed that the occurrence of clear-air turbulence is increasing due to climate change. It is hard to predict such turbulence due to the absence of visual cues like clouds. This type of turbulence arises when air masses moving at significantly different speeds intersect.
Feature Image via Helloayo/TikTok