People, Travel

27 Hurt After Plane Hits Extreme Turbulence

The airline says nobody was seriously injured.The airline says nobody was seriously injured.

An Aeroflot Boeing 777 flying from Moscow to Bangkok on Monday hit air pockets around 40 minutes before landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport, leaving more than two dozen injured.

An Aeroflot spokesman told CNET that 27 passengers were hurt, but none seriously. Seventeen people remain hospitalized.

Sky News reported that "some needed surgery for fractures", a claim denied by the airline. The flight, according to CNN, was carrying 318 passengers and 14 crew members when it struck turbulence as it flew over Myanmar.

Video taken by passenger Evgenia Zibrova and posted on YouTube shows the devastation after the air had calmed down. Passengers and debris are strewn about the aisles in a scene reminiscent of a hurricane.

"The injured suffered multiple fractures," Vladimir Sosnov, the deputy head of the Russian Consulate in Thailand, told UK's Metro. Sosnov added that "apparently, those who were injured did not have their seat belts fastened."

That may be. It may also be that, given reports that babies were injured, parents were walking them about the cabin, as parents often do. Rostik Rusev, a passenger on the flight, told CNN that the turbulence lasted 10 seconds. Those 10 seconds, however, caused devastation.

"There was blood on the ceiling, people with broken noses, babies who were hurt, it was horrible," Rusev said. "It came out of nowhere; it was like driving a car and a tire suddenly bursts."

Zibrova's video has already been viewed almost 300,000 times. It's a sobering reminder that air travel can never be entirely safe. For all the technical advances in airplane design, nature can still have its way.

 “Clear air turbulence is air movement created by atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air around mountains, cold or warm weather fronts or thunderstorms. It can be unexpected and can happen when the sky appears to be clear,” according to the US Federal Aviation Administration.

According to the Aeroflot statement, around 750 cases of clear sky turbulence occur globally each year. While turbulence undoubtedly makes most travelers uneasy, it’s not something to really worry about.


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