A Lufthansa flight from Austin to Frankfurt in Germany was forced to divert to Dulles International Airport on Wednesday evening after the plane encountered severe turbulence, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.
The Airbus A330 "landed safely" at Dulles and seven people were taken to local hospitals, according to a spokesman for the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority.
An FAA spokesman confirmed in an email that Flight 469 had landed "without incident" in northern Virginia around 9:10 p.m. local time. The crew reported encountering severe turbulence at 37,000 feet over Tennessee, he added.
A passenger on the flight said the plane went into "free fall" as the dinner service was getting underway. The passenger, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concern that Lufthansa would not provide compensation, said people and food "went flying into the air, hitting and even damaging the ceiling of the plane."
Someone in the seat in front of the passenger was "badly hurt" with blood spattered over their seat, the passenger said. The injured person was wheeled off the plane in a wheelchair, the passenger said.
The passenger was traveling with a companion and both were unharmed, though their clothes were soiled with food and wine. The airline paid for a hotel room and taxi but did not help with other expenses, the passenger said.
Lufthansa did not immediately return a request for comment.
The FAA said it would investigate the incident.