When they put on the ‘Fasten Seat Belt’ sign in the cabin…DO IT!
A woman flying out of Houston, Texas is reportedly paralyzed from the chest down after her flight hits turbulence and she was knocked against the ceiling of the plane.
There may have been no way this could have been avoided if she was just in the process of leaving/entering the bathroom as the articles indicate. But this is always why they suggest you sit with your seat belt fastened, even if you’re flying in calm weather and the seat belt sign is OFF. You never know when you could suddenly run into rough weather.
Woman Reportedly Paralyzed After Turbulent Flight
From the CNN article:
“The woman fractured her spinal column and cannot walk at this time, said Garcia, who added that the mother of three did not want to be identified. He said she had surgery on her back and is scheduled to undergo another operation.”
Passenger’s paralysis a rare occurrence
From the Houston Chronicle article:
“Even though airliners’ encounters with turbulent air are the nation’s leading cause for passenger and crew injuries, such as the one that left a Continental Airlines passenger paralyzed Saturday, serious injuries are extremely rare, Federal Aviation Administration records show.“
“On average, only 58 injuries from air turbulence are reported annually.”
“FAA statistics showed that U.S. airliners had 198 turbulence accidents between 1980 and June 2004, with 266 serious injuries and three fatalities.”