Former WA politician Alannah MacTiernan smashed her face and broke three ribs when Emirates flight EK421 plunged during severe turbulence. The long-serving and popular MP was one of more than a dozen passengers injured on flight EK421 on Tuesday morning. She was on her way to Dubai to attend the COP28 climate conference with a green steel company when she was thrown from her business class seat. “I was asleep when it happened, and I awoke to find I was jammed on top of a seating cubicle on the opposite side of the aisle,” the 70-year-old said. “There were things flying around the cabin. You thought immediately of 9/11. “I could barely move and was in quite a lot of pain. I took the full force on my chest, and I also knocked my head quite badly. “It was complete chaos, which you can understand at the moment and, I guess, immediately after because there were a lot of people hurt, including some of the crew. “But it seemed to take a long time for anyone to come around to see how we were. After 10 minutes, I asked a passenger nearby to press the call button. “I asked the flight attendant for some pain relief and some ice for my face. I was given some Panadol and some ice in a brown paper bag, which I thought wasn’t a terribly functional choice of container. “Fortunately, I had painkillers of my own. We were still a few hours out of Dubai, and while I was asked a couple of times if I was OK, nobody seemed to be collating the information or organising a response on the ground.” Ms MacTiernan’s face was swollen and badly bruised, and she suspected she had damaged her ribs. She was looking forward to getting off the plane and into a hospital but her hopes were dashed on landing. “We were told the injured needed to wait on board as we would be assessed,” she said. “Some emergency personnel charged on and presumably went to the most serious case. “After about 15 minutes, there was no action in our cabin, so I said I would get off and would arrange access to medical attention privately. “I was also concerned about what was happening to my bags because no advice was available about what they were doing about the luggage of the people who were detained. “They insisted I stay where I was. I was later escorted on to the tarmac, and they said I was going to be assessed by a medic in an ambulance, which was there.” After sitting in the ambulance for 10 minutes, Ms MacTiernan was moved to another ambulance and then driven for about 10 minutes to an underground clinic within the sprawling airport precinct. “At the clinic, I was seen by a doctor for five seconds,” she recalled. “He said I probably didn’t have broken ribs and gave me one Nurofen. When I explained that I had not eaten for eight hours, they said I couldn’t take the tablet. “When I asked if I could leave to get some food so I could take the tablet, I was told no because I may need police clearance. It was around this time Ms MacTiernan became very concerned about how she was being treated. “I had no idea where I was vis-a-vis the plane, my luggage and immigration,” she said. “After some strong requests, I was shown the way out of the clinic and pointed in the general direction of immigration but was warned it was a very long walk.” She was eventually given a lift and, after being seen at the airport, made her way to her hotel, where she was met by representatives of the company she attended COP28 with. A CT scan at a hospital revealed three broken ribs. “I can understand a confused response if we had gone through the turbulence close to landing, but we were hours in the air after that happened,” she said. “Emirates had a lot of time to co-ordinate a response on the ground, and it was clear they hadn’t. When I attempted to contact the company I was told I had to fill out a form which had a note on it specifically saying any information provided might not be acted on. “To send someone to a clinic without following up and checking on them is not good enough.” The former member for Armadale is due home at the weekend.