Panic aboard Lufthansa as plane drops 30,000 feet
•Airline denies serious incident
Lufthansa Airbus 330 flight last Sunday, caused a scare among 197 passengers when the plane allegedly dropped to as low as 5,000 feet from 35,000 shortly after take-off.The Guardian learnt that the suddenness of the descent and without prior notice caused some of the Abuja-Frankfurt travellers to scream for fear of an imminent crash.
Normalcy, however, was restored within seconds but most of the passengers were far from comfortable.According to sources, the Lufthansa flight LH595 flight left Abuja at about 11.15 pm and ran into a bad weather causing serious turbulence that forced the pilot to manoeuvre.
A passenger who was on-board said the aircraft crew had declined to make an air return or stop at a nearby airport in spite of pleas from passengers.The passenger recounted that due to the fear, they could not be served food and drinks, and neither could the crew members attend to other welfare concerns all through the journey of about seven hours.
However, Lufthansa yesterday denied the severity of the incident, saying safety was never compromised.The airline in a statement released by its Media Consultant, Hakeem Jimoh, stated: “We can confirm that on flight LH595 last Sunday (18 FEB.) from Abuja to Frankfurt, a brief weather-related turbulence was experienced. The Airbus A330 aircraft took off in Abuja at 23:13 with 197 passengers on board and landed at 5:17 in Frankfurt as planned (all times local). After take-off in Abuja, there was moderate turbulence during the ascent for a few seconds due to bad weather.”
“At that time, since the seat-belt signs were still on, all guests and the crew members were safely seated with their seat belts fastened. Safety on board was never compromised. No passengers or crew members were injured. The flight continued normally,” the airline said.
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