A SECOND passenger on board the China Eastern Airlines flight which made an emergency landing on the Aleutian Islands has died and a stewardess is effectively brain dead, it has been revealed. A doctor at the Alaska Regional Hospital where the victims were being treated said several more passengers were not expected to survive. As the full horror of the tragedy emerged, Dr Richard Gregory, an emergency room specialist who dealt with many of the worst cases after they were airlifted 2,400 kilometres to Anchorage, admitted he was surprised by the number of survivors. ''These people were just loose missiles in the plane,'' said Dr Gregory, 41. ''Whatever happened there was horrible.'' Survivors are being ferried to Los Angeles over the weekend as US air safety officials continue to probe the incident. But more than 50 remain in hospitals in Anchorage, where they were airlifted after their MD-11 made an emergency landing on a secret military base following turbulence so violent it killed one passenger at the time and seriously injured at least 11. ''A second person has died from a head injury. Some others are not doing very well. We have one flight attendant with brain stem injuries. She is not functional and will not be functional,'' Dr Gregory said. He was amazed there were not more serious injuries since it took many hours before victims reached hospital and proper treatment. He was full of praise for their bravery and endurance. ''By the time they reached Anchorage they had been in trauma for about 10 hours. In trauma cases you have only one hour to save people,'' he said. ''But these patients were still alert when they got to us. They are so phenomenal, so stoic. ''We are very impressed. They have been through massive trauma yet we have not heard one whine, one moan. They're the best group of patients I could imagine.'' Passengers who were not injured, or who have been discharged from hospital, have been put up by Chinese families who also act as interpreters. ''The Chinese community here have been outstanding. They have all rallied round, providing food, clothing and support,'' Dr Gregory said. He said the passengers he had spoken to had given a horrific description of what happened on the flight from Shanghai to Los Angeles on Tuesday. ''They say it was as if they hit a wall,'' he said. ''It felt like someone had grabbed the plane by the tail and was shaking it.'' Most of the 235 passengers were finishing a meal and a film had started when the plane suddenly dropped through the air, hurling people who did not have their seat belts fastened to the floor and the ceiling. The flight was not full and some people had stretched across empty seats to sleep. The cabin went dark - though the film kept rolling - and terrified passengers who thought the engines had failed screamed and cried. ''I held my baby,'' said first-class passenger Ms Jennie Liu, who was returning to Los Angeles with her 16-month old daughter after visiting her parents in Shanghai. ''I thought I would die.'' Many passengers were thrown into the aisles, with people towards the back of the plane suffering the most serious injuries. At least 11 people were badly hurt, mainly suffering head injuries from flying objects as overhead storage bins spilled their contents - and from the other hurtling passengers. The plane made a successful emergency landing at the Shimya Naval Station - a classified military establishment at the western tip of the Aleutian Islands off Alaska, believed to be a base for space surveillance and reconnaissance aircraft - about an hour after the first mayday signal. Even then, the horrific journey was not over. Despite having Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and civilian rescue workers standing by, there was only one doctor on the base and the injured had to be airlifted in five military planes to hospitals in Anchorage, a five-hour flight away. Once the injured arrived in Anchorage, they were ferried to four different hospitals. Alaskan officials said it was the biggest medical emergency they had faced in 20 years, and the Federal Aviation Administration said it was the worst accident involving turbulence for a number of years. The National Transportation Safety Board and the FAA are investigating the incident.