8 people injured due to turbulence on JetBlue flight

2023-09-25 18:50:08

Eight people, including a crew member, were taken to the hospital Monday after a JetBlue flight to Fort Lauderdale experienced severe turbulence.

Flight 1256 was flying from Guayaquil, Ecuador, to Fort Lauderdale, United States, and encountered difficult conditions as it approached Florida, the carrier said.

The plane landed safely at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport where it was met by medical personnel who transported seven customers and one crew member to the hospital for evaluation and treatment.

“JetBlue will work to support our customers and crew members,” the company said in a statement, reported by numerous US media outlets.

JetBlue added that the plane intended for this flight had been taken out of service for inspection.

A study published last June in the journal «Geophysical Research Letters» observed that since 1979, severe turbulence has increased by 55%.

Even more worrying, scientists suggest that these dangerous turbulences will become more and more frequent.

“After a decade of research showing that climate change will increase free-air turbulence in the future, we now have evidence to suggest that this increase has already begun,” said study author Dr. Professor Paul Williams.

Several types of turbulence exist, and these are the ones called “clear air turbulence” which are likely to be more frequent and stronger.

These occur by surprise, without visual cues like clouds, or storms. Unlike regular turbulence, clear-air turbulence strikes suddenly and is difficult to avoid, CNN reports.

The researchers are reassuring: this does not mean that taking a plane will be less safe.

“The planes are not going to start falling from the sky, they are built to very high specifications and they can withstand the worst turbulence,” assures the researcher.

“Typically, on a transatlantic flight, turbulence lasts on average around ten minutes. I think in a few decades it may increase to 20 minutes or half an hour. The seat belt signal will be activated almost all the time for passengers,” explains Paul Williams.

In nonfatal accidents, turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to flight attendants and passengers, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Injuries, delays and damage caused by turbulence cost U.S. airlines up to $500 million a year, according to the National Center for Atmospheric Research.

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