Screams rang out and cabin crew bounced off the ceiling along with dinner trays when an Air New Zealand flight slammed into a belt of extreme turbulence over the South China Sea, forcing the flight to turn back to Vietnam.
The captain of flight NZ268, flying from Ho Chi Minh City to Auckland, decided to turn back to Vietnam on Sunday morning after the incident, which injured four people including cabin crew.
The New Zealand Herald quoted a passenger writing on Facebook: “As the air hostess hands me my tray we hit some really bad turbulence, the plane drops and all my food flies all over the floor and me.
“Everyone is screaming and we have no idea what is going on.
“A few minutes pass and the crew calling for a doctor over the loud speaker, two crew members had suffered critical injuries, the turbulence had thrown them up to the ceiling, another was injured.”
Another passenger posted that four food service carts were left smashed over the floor, their trays scattered around. The Facebook post added that paramedics had boarded the plane to help the injured after the flight touched down at Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).
The Aviation Herald reported: “It appeared there were doctors on board, who started to take care of the injured.
“Replacement crew members were dispatched to Vietnam. Thus the occurrence aircraft departed again about 24 hours after first departure and reached Auckland with a delay of about 26 hours.”
Written by Peter Needham