Qantas plane suddenly plunges, injuring dozens

October 8, 2008 4:20:42 AM PDT
Safety investigators are looking into what caused a Qantas Airways plane to suddenly plunge nose-first over Australia, tossing travelers around the cabin. It left more than 40 passengers hospitalized, some with fractures, concussions and bruises.

Safety investigators say right after pilots were warned of an irregularity with the plane's stabilization system, it suddenly climbed about 300 feet before it "abruptly pitched nose down." It's unclear how far the aircraft dropped.

A passenger who calls the ordeal "horrendous" says he thought he was about to die as he watched unbelted passengers being flung around the cabin.

Officials say it's too soon to identify any causes in yesterday's incident.

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