Passengers of an airliner forced to make an emergency landing after seven people were injured during severe turbulence said they were grateful to have landed in one piece. American Airlines flight 206 was cruising over the Atlantic, a few hours into its flight from Miami, US, to Milan, Italy, when it encountered strong turbulence that shook the cabin.

Witnesses on board said the commotion was so intense that some of the 192 passengers passed out in their seats. "It rolled on its side. Everything went flying. It was pretty intense," passenger Karen Case, told Cbc. "I really thought that was it."

Passengers' cries of fear can be heard in mobile phone footage purportedly showing the incident.

Three flight attendants and four passengers were injured, the airline said, adding the seat belt light was on when the turbulence occurred.

The captain diverted the Boeing 767 to Newfoundland, where it landed safely at St. John's airport. "I'm just happy to be alive. It was scary," passenger Gustavo Canda, told the Canadian broadcaster.

Ambulances and paramedics met the aircraft on the runaway and took the injured to a local hospital. An American Airlines spokesman said none of the injuries were life threatening. The company was working to assist the unharmed passengers continue their journey.

Update: An old video was initially used to illustrate this piece but it was removed after it was brought to our attention that the footage was from 2014.