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Mon 8 Dec 2014 10:40 AM

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Qatar Airways attendants injured in 'turbulence'

Cabin crew nursed injuries throughout the flight to Warsaw after what a passenger described as “free-fall for 5-7 seconds”

Qatar Airways attendants injured in 'turbulence'

A Qatar Airways flight attendant suffered a shoulder injury when a Warsaw-bound plane suddenly ascended shortly after taking off from Doha on Sunday, the airline has confirmed.

Seven cabin crew members were thrown around the cabin about 10 minutes after take-off when the A320 suddenly felt like the pilot had lost control, according to passenger Joanna Gasiorowska.

Gasiorowska said it a post on Twitter it felt like the plane was in free-fall for five to seven seconds and turned sharply to the right, causing the crew members to hit the ceiling.

“Just had a terrifying near-miss experience on @qatarairways to Warsaw. Our plane tipped onto its side & fell for approx 5-7sec,” she Tweeted.

“The A320 passed through another aircraft's jet stream. Most of the cabin crew are injured, 2 seriously. All of us shaken and tearful.”

None of the passengers aboard the QR261 flight, which departed Hamad International Airport about 2.30am, reported being injured.

However, Gasiorowska, who is also a journalist for Al Jazeera, said “most of the cabin crew are injured, 2 seriously”.

One complained of pain in her forehead and behind her eye, while another tied her left arm in a sling for the remainder of the flight, she said.

The most seriously hurt flight attendant told a passenger that she could not move her arm and spent the rest of the flight seated and experiencing considerable discomfort, Gasiorowska Tweeted.

She told Doha News that the captain checked on the condition of the crew several times but no official comment was made to passengers.

She said a crew member told her the Qatar Airways plane was mechanically fine, but had passed through another aircraft’s path and “described it as near-miss”.

Aircraft congestion in the skies over the Gulf has been an increasing concern in the industry but authorities are yet to agree on how to manage it.

A Qatar Airways spokesperson confirmed the incident to Doha News but said he had no information about the involvement of a second aircraft.

He said the Warsaw-bound plane encountered “normal, moderate turbulence” and one crew member suffered a “slight shoulder bruise”.

The passengers’ nerves were again tested when the pilot was forced to suddenly abandon the plane’s landing in Warsaw, Gasiorowska said.

The plane circled around the airport and made a second approach, landing without incident.

As the aircraft taxied away from the runway, Gasiorowska said a crew member read the standard script to passengers, hoping they had “a pleasant flight”, before paramedics boarded to treat the injured flight attendant.

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