London - Terrified passengers on a UK-bound transatlantic flight have described how they thought they would die as the plane suddenly “dropped” about 4 000ft.
The United Airlines Boeing 767-300 flying from Houston to Heathrow was diverted to Shannon Airport after 23 people were hurt by severe turbulence 300 miles off Ireland.
Three children and two crew were taken to University Hospital in Limerick. More were treated at the airport.
Texan cheerleading coach Nikki Hartin Boriack, 38, said the plane plunged twice and passengers including children were sent “flying” through the cabin followed by a bang some thought was the engine “blowing up”.
She said: “Out of the blue the plane just dropped and everybody who was unbuckled went flying. Everybody hit their heads on the roof.
“The girl next to me was thrown from her seat. Each drop lasted a couple of seconds. There was a loud bang. That was when everybody got really scared.”