'This is it': Passenger describes turbulent plane ride

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. -- Seven people were taken to hospital after an American Airlines passenger jet was diverted to St.

See Full Article

John's, N.L., due to severe turbulence.

American flight 206 left Miami bound for Milan, but was re-routed to St. John's International Airport late Sunday. Passenger Gustavo Canga, 26, was on his way to his job in aviation services at a military base in Abu Dhabi after spending time in the United States, where he has an infant son. Here is his account of the incident, as told to reporter Michael Tutton of The Canadian Press:

When I saw this plane my first impression was that it could be a rough flight. I know the smaller planes, when they hit turbulence you feel it harder than the Airbus.

But I just wanted to get back to Abu Dhabi and work. I'm very familiar with aviation and I fly all the time.

I was sitting about three quarters of the way towards the back. We started turbulence anywhere from two to three hours after we left Miami.

About 30 minutes before the turbulence, the flight attendance started to serve food. They had to cut it short and had to get people's trash. The seatbelt signs came on.

We had turbulence, and it was progressively getting (worse). Then there was a drop, or a dip, and that was when the flight attendants that had no seatbelts got hurt.

Some people passed out. There was a lady who had a cut on her face.

It's hard to track time when you're that nervous and you're scared and you might think it was longer than what it was. I had to say (all of) the turbulence had to be 10 to 20 minutes; I'm not exactly sure.

The turbulence that caused the injuries had to be in the seconds. It was really fast. Yet it felt very long because you are in a panic mode.

It was definitely a life-changing experience. You realize when something like this happens that things can end very quick and really nothing matters.

I was praying. You realize, this can be it right here. I tried to remain calm. But you can't help but think, "This is it." It was just praying to God.

I didn't see (the attendants) being injured. But I did hear the one flight attendant who spoke on the speaker. You could hear the panic in her voice. She was very frightened.

She told people to remain in their seat. Don't get up for any reason. Put your seatbelt on.

There were so many things going on. There were people talking, people screaming, and one of the flight attendants called for medical personnel to come to the back.

The woman sitting in the row next to me was a pediatrician from Venezuela.

When she returned to her seat she was calm. From what the doctor told me, one of the flight attendants had a deep cut in their leg and they applied a tourniquet on the leg.

The doctor told me the First Aid kit in the plane had very basic stuff. It didn't have anything to treat severe injuries.

After the turbulence ended, the captain announced we were going to make a stop in St. John's.

As the airplane landed, the first thing I thought was it hadn't snowed too badly. I kind of thought you guys would be buried here. This town looks a bit like northern New Jersey.

I work in aviation and I would say that the plane should now be thoroughly inspected, especially before going across the Atlantic.

I just don't want to get in the plane anymore, to be honest. I have a small child, Mikel, who turns six months this month.

I didn't get hurt, but it was definitely a traumatic experience. I slept all right, but I tossed and turned. I woke up in the morning just thinking about it.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • Iran will not disclose cause of mysterious nuclear site fire

    World News CTV News
    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES -- An online video and messages purportedly claiming responsibility for a fire that analysts say damaged a centrifuge assembly plant at Iran's underground Natanz nuclear site deepened the mystery Friday around the incident -- even as Tehran insisted it knew the cause but would not make it public due to "security reasons. Source
  • Federal government, WE Charity agree to part ways on summer student grant program

    Canada News CBC News
    The federal Liberal government and the WE Charity are ending a partnership that would have seen the charity distribute around $900 million in federal student grants this summer. The decision to outsource this work to a third-party with ties to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's family was criticized by some in the charitable sector and by the opposition Conservatives. Source
  • Train hits bus carrying Sikh pilgrims in Pakistan: 20 dead

    World News CTV News
    LAHORE, PAKISTAN -- A passenger train crashed into a bus carrying Sikh pilgrims at an unmanned railway crossing in eastern Pakistan on Friday, killing 20 people, including seven women, officials said. At least eight pilgrims were injured. Source
  • Traffic lineups grow at Atlantic borders as COVID-19 bubble opens

    Canada News CBC News
    Atlantic Canadians are now free to travel among Canada's four eastern provinces without self-isolating to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, but that doesn't mean the process is easy. The so-called Atlantic bubble opened one minute after midnight AT as part of easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Source
  • Early Atlantic pandemic bubble travellers face long lineups

    Canada News CBC News
    Atlantic Canadians are now free to travel among Canada's four eastern provinces without self-isolating to reduce the risk of coronavirus transmission, but that doesn't mean the process is easy. The so-called Atlantic bubble opened one minute after midnight AT as part of easing of COVID-19 pandemic restrictions. Source
  • Coronavirus is surging in Florida -- and so is anxiety over Trump's chances with senior voters

    World News CTV News
    John Dudley, a retired banker, proudly cast his ballot for Donald Trump in 2016, excited at the prospect of sending an entrepreneur to the White House on a pledge to change Washington. It's a vote he regrets, he said, and a mistake he hopes to correct in November. Source
  • U.K. scraps quarantine for some visitors as pubs set to reopen

    World News CBC News
    Boris Johnson wants a haircut and a beer. Like millions of other Britons, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to get a haircut and a beer on Saturday, when the country takes its biggest step yet out of lockdown with the reopening in England of restaurants, pubs and hairdressers, along with secular and sacred venues including cinemas and churches. Source
  • Canada, U.S. left out as U.K. scraps quarantine for visitors from some countries

    World News CBC News
    Boris Johnson wants a haircut and a beer. Like millions of other Britons, U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson will be able to get a haircut and a beer on Saturday, when the country takes its biggest step yet out of lockdown with the reopening in England of restaurants, pubs and hairdressers, along with secular and sacred venues including cinemas and churches. Source
  • 4 dead, 97 injured in blast at Turkish fireworks factory

    World News CTV News
    ANKARA, TURKEY -- An explosion at a fireworks factory in northwestern Turkey on Friday killed four people and injured at least 97 others, officials said. There were 186 workers at the factory outside the town of Hendek, in Sakarya province, Health Minister Fahrettin Koca told reporters. Source
  • RCMP to give update on CAF member arrested on Rideau Hall grounds

    Canada News CBC News
    The Royal Canadian Mounted Police will give an update this morning on the arrest of the Canadian Armed Forces member who gained access to the grounds at Rideau Hall early Thursday morning. Deputy Commissioner Mike Duheme will make a statement and take questions during a briefing at RCMP national division headquarters in Ottawa at 9:45 a.m. Source