A honeymoon couple “thought they were going to die” after their plane hit turbulence that flung passengers and crew around the cabin, injuring several people.
As their Easyjet plane began its descent to Naples it is reported to have hit an airpocket, causing the aircraft to drop suddenly, throwing three stewardesses at the ceiling, and a baby from its mother’s arms.
David, 33, told KentOnline: “Everyone was terrified. The overhead lockers all opened and there was luggage flying everywhere. People were being sick because of fear.”
Three members of staff were in the aisle, performing final checks, when the plane hit the turbulence.
“They hit the ceiling with such force that they damaged the ceiling panels,” said David.
“One of them was knocked unconscious, and apparently broke her hip as well. Fortunately once things got calmer, people were able to help, and they immobilised her where she lay in the aisle.
“At first it did just feel like turbulence - albeit the worst I've encountered - but then suddenly we nose-dived and everyone started screaming.
“The crew seemed as scared as the rest of us-everyone thought we were going to die, but the captain managed to bring the plane back under control.”
The couple, both from Tunbridge Wells, got married three days ago and were on a mini-honeymoon due to David's work commitments, intending to take their main honeymoon next year.
"People thrown out of seats repeatedly and plane nosedived at speed. Screams and crying and throwing up from passengers. Too scary" - Lucy Westbrooke
Lucy, 30, tweeted: "Mini-moon not off to best start. Emergency landing at Rome after hitting thunder storm and severe turbulence, member of crew knocked unconscious.
"People thrown out of seats repeatedly and plane nosedived at speed. Screams and crying and throwing up from passengers. Too scary."
She later added: “Never been so terrified.”
The couple, who married at the New School at West Heath in Sevenoaks, were on a flight from Gatwick to Naples from where they intended to travel to their destination, Capri.
But after hitting the turbulence, the plane was diverted, and made an emergency landing in Rome, where paramedics were waiting.
David praised the crew in the aftermath of the ordeal.
He said: “The crew were great, once we were stabilised, they came round to make sure everyone was ok, and were handing out sick bags and assisting everyone who needed it.
“Once we touched down, absolutely everyone cheered.”
David said that initially passengers were offered the chance to get back on the plane and complete the journey to Naples, but had to get off after engineers decided the aircraft was too badly damaged to fly.
The Westbrookes eventually made it to their honeymoon destination after an eight hour bus journey.
They now intend to enjoy the rest of their holiday.
"There were tearful phone calls to loved ones everywhere as soon as we touched down. I think everyone on the flight will wear seat belts the entire time when they next fly" - David Westbrooke
David said: “Honestly, the whole thing was terrifying. There were tearful phone calls to loved ones everywhere as soon as we touched down. I think everyone on the flight will wear seat belts the entire time when they next fly.
“We're just grateful it wasn't worse. We're only here for a couple of nights so were just trying to make the most of the sun!”
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