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Pax and crew hurt as extreme turbulence hits SIA flight

October 21, 2014 Aviation, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59A Singapore Airlines A380 ran into extreme turbulence while descending to land in  Mumbai, India, injuring eight passengers and 10 crew seriously enough for them to be taken to hospital on landing.

Singapore’s Straits Times newspaper confirmed that eight passengers and 14 crewmembers were hurt aboard SIA Flight 424 to Mumbai. The flight was carrying 408 passengers and a crew of 25.

All but two of the passengers were discharged from hospital shortly after admission, SIA said, without elaborating on the nature or seriousness of their injuries.

SIA said in an official statement: “Singapore Airlines flight SQ424 from Singapore to Mumbai experienced sudden turbulence during descent on 18 October. There were 408 passengers and 25 crew on board. Eight passengers and 14 crew sustained injuries and were attended to by medical personnel on arrival at Mumbai Airport.

“Our immediate concern is for the well-being of our passengers and crew.

“Singapore Airlines will provide full assistance to the authorities in their investigations.”

Air turbulence is increasing worldwide. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) last year recorded an “unprecedented” increase in turbulence and was sufficiently concerned to have produced a special bulletin for download and distribution to clients. Entitled “Staying Safe against In-flight Turbulence” and illustrated with photos and diagrams, it is available for free download by clicking here.

The ATSB finding squares with a UK scientific study last year that predicted bumpier flights caused by increased mid-air turbulence as climate change affects the world’s jet streams. Jet streams are the fast, 1.5 kilometre-wide winds that blast around the Earth at the same altitude as commercial planes fly.

The Mumbai turbulence struck on Saturday. A day later, five SilkAir flights were delayed at Changi Airport for various reasons for up to 11 hours, affecting about 600 passengers heading to Kuala Lumpur, Yogyakarta in Indonesia, Yangon in Myanmar, Chiang Mai in Thailand and Cebu in the Philippines.

A SilkAir spokesman told the Straits Times the delays were due to unrelated technical issues.

Written by : Peter Needham

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