Passengers injured in mid-air drama
Nine taken to hospital after flight from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta hit by ‘severe’ turbulence
Thirty-one passengers and a crew member aboard an Etihad Airways flight suffered injuries when their plane ran into sudden turbulence as it prepared to land in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.
The UAE’s national carrier said flight EY474, which departed from Abu Dhabi yesterday, was hit by “severe and unexpected turbulence” about 45 minutes before landing at Soekarno Hatta International Airport. The Airbus A330-200 landed safely but nine passengers and a crew member were taken to a local hospital for their injuries, Etihad said.
Paramedics then treated 22 for minor injuries and they were released.
Haerul Anwar, a spokesman for the Jakarta airport, described nine of the injuries as serious. He said officials from the airport and Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee were inspecting the plane.
The airline did not provide details on the severity of the injuries, but said the turbulence was severe enough that it damaged cabin storage bins pictured).
Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesman Hemi Pamuraharjo said at least eight Indonesian passengers and a foreign flight attendant were hurt, with several suffering broken bones.
Passengers onboard who spoke to Jakarta-based news website Okezone said oxygen masks tumbled out in the turbulence and passengers, including Muslim pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, were hurt. “It happened when I was performing pray,” passenger Nenden Nurhaini told the website. “The plane suddenly began to shake so fast.” Photographs posted on Twitter appeared to show damage to the interior of the plane and items strewn across the floor. Etihad said the airline’s planned Jakarta to Abu Dhabi flight yesterday on the same plane had been cancelled and the airline was assisting passengers.
DRAMA: Passengers shared images from inside the plane on Twitter