10 injured as American Airlines flight goes into 'freefall'

  • 07/08/2017

Ten people have been injured on an American Airlines flight after it ran into severe turbulence.

Flight 759 was about half-an-hour from landing in Pennsylvania after taking off from Greece when people were jolted out of their seats.

"Thirty minutes out, they were giving us our drinks, the flight attendants were in the last couple rows when they said 'fasten your seat belts'," Ian Smith told WPVI in Philadelphia.

"And then they said for the flight attendants to get to their seats, and they didn't even have time. It started shaking, then it took a big drop. Babies screaming, people in front of us hitting the ceiling."

The turbulence lasted about 15 seconds, during which one passenger said the plane felt as if it was in freefall.

A ProPublica reporter on the flight said the interior of the plane was "soaked".

"They'd *just* handed out drinks… They'll be hosing this out for hours," tweeted Jessica Huseman.

"No warning at all. Plane lurched thru the air. Honestly, terrifying."

Seven injured passengers and three crew have since been released from hospital, reports ABC News. There were 287 passengers and 12 crew on board the Airbus A330.

"American Airlines flight 759 from Athens, Greece to Philadelphia International Airport briefly encountered severe turbulence shortly before landing safely in Philadelphia Saturday afternoon," the airline said in a statement.

"The seatbelt sign was on at the time. Three passengers and seven crew members were transported to a local hospital for evaluation and later released."