An Etihad A330-200 struck violent turbulence as it came into land at Jakarta on Wednesday, injuring 31 passengers and a crewmember. Some victims were said to have broken bones.
Flight EY474 from Abu Dhabi ran into “severe and unexpected turbulence” about 45 minutes before landing at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, according to a statement issued by the airline and carried by the Detroit News.
The plane landed safely and nine of the injured were conveyed to a local hospital, Etihad said. Paramedics treated the other 22 for minor injuries at the airport’s clinic. They were later released.
Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesman Hemi Pamuraharjo said the injuries included broken bones. The turbulence was serious enough to have damaged overhead lockers aboard the aircraft and caused oxygen masks to be deployed.
Jakarta-based news website Okezone said passengers included Muslim pilgrims returning from Mecca in Saudi Arabia, some of whom were praying when the turbulence struck.
In a statement later, Etihad said it had sent a specialist team to visit the nine passengers who were hospitalised after flight EY474 encountered “severe and unexpected clear air turbulence”.
The team, sent to provide ongoing care, support and assistance, also met with several of the families of the injured and confirmed that Etihad Airways would cover the medical expenses.
Of the nine who were hospitalised, most were expected to be discharged by the end of yesterday, the airline said.
Etihad Airways’ president and chief executive, James Hogan, said: “Our pilots and cabin crew are to be commended for the calm and professional manner in which they dealt with this exceptional event, and the care they showed the passengers, despite several being injured themselves. It is testament to the high standard of our crew training that the effects of the turbulence were minimized. At no time was the safety of the aircraft, passengers or crew compromised.”
Etihad Airways is cooperating fully with the Indonesian authorities in their investigation.
Written by William Sykes