Severe turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean tossed terrified passengers and crew around a Turkish Airlines plane cabin on Saturday, with 30 people suffering bumps, bruises, cuts and a broken leg before the flight landed safely at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, officials said.
Dozens of ambulances lined up in front of a terminal to quickly treat the injured coming off the flight that left Istanbul for the 10-hour trip.
Spokesman Steve Coleman of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey told The Associated Press that 28 people were taken to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center in Queens after the plane touched down at 5:35 p.m. Two went to Queens Hospital Medical Center. A flight attendant suffered a broken leg, Coleman said.
Turkish Airlines Flight 1 hit the turbulence about 45 minutes before landing at JFK, Coleman said. The crew declared an emergency while the Boeing 777 was still in the air, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Port Authority spokesman said other airport operations were not affected.
Turkish Airlines officials in a statement early Sunday confirmed the flight carrying 326 passengers and 18 crew members “encountered an unusual turbulence about 40 minutes before landing” in New York. The airline said it is “deeply saddened by this unfortunate experience, and closely monitors the health status of injured passengers, and is making resources available to them.”
It was the second mishap on Saturday involving a plane in the New York metropolitan area.
Earlier in the day, Newark Liberty International Airport temporarily closed its runways after a flight from Montreal to Fort Lauderdale made an emergency landing with smoke in its cargo hold .
The National Weather Service had issued advisories on Saturday warning pilots of expected turbulence.