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26 pax hurt as violent turbulence ‘double-jolts’ flight

June 20, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

At least 26 people were injured, four seriously, after an international flight from France to China slammed into extreme turbulence and dived 4000 feet (1220 metres) following two large jolts that sent unsecured passengers bouncing off the ceiling.

The incident happened on Sunday when China Eastern Airlines flight MU744 from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport was over southwest China, Chin’s Xinhua state news media reported.

The flight, operated with a A300-200 aircraft, was headed to Kunming Changshui International Airport in Kunming in Yunnan province.

The Aviation Herald reported that the flight struck sudden severe turbulence which lasted about 10 minutes and included “two very large jolts” that sent the plane into “multiple rapid descends and climbs” in excess of 5000 feet per minute. Everyone not buckled in hit the cabin ceiling or overhead lockers before being flung back down onto the seats. Between the large jolts were a number of lesser jolts.

Xinhua cited local hospitals saying passengers suffered bone fractures, scalp lacerations and soft tissue injuries caused by falling baggage or collisions with overhead lockers.

The plane landed safely an hour later than scheduled. Passengers needing medical attention were rushed to hospital, though Xinhua said none were reported to be in critical condition.

China Eastern Airlines said on its official microblog account: “(We) remind all passengers, for your safety, please fasten safety belts.”

It’s a lesson that applies to all passengers on all flights.

Written by Peter Needham

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