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Violent turbulence injures dozens on flight to Bangkok

May 3, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Air turbulence is said to be increasing, and anyone watching this footage taken on a flight to Thailand would believe it. Extreme turbulence – and the fact many passengers did not have their seatbelts fastened – left many injured, some lying in the aisles with broken bones.

The damage is believed to have been caused by “clear air turbulence” or CAT, which cannot be seen. The jolt came “out of nowhere,” passengers said.

The flight was an Aeroflot B777 flying from Moscow to Bangkok and the turbulence slammed into it 40 minutes before landing.

The Russian Embassy in Thailand told English-language Russian news outlet that all of the injured had been taken to a local hospital.

An embassy spokesman said 27 people were injured, mostly with bruises and fractures.

People bounced off the ceiling and “started to fall down and scream,” one woman related.

The plane was reportedly jolted 100-200 metres up and down in the air.

The airline reportedly has pledged to pay compensation to those injured. Several passengers were hospitalised at the Samitivej hospital in Bangkok.

Tweet by Anastasi Malkevitch shows passenger with bandaged arms and face

Anecdotally, air turbulence is increasing and evidence backs that up. In-flight injuries caused by air turbulence more than doubled from 21 in 2015 to 44 in 2016, a year-over-year increase of 109%, according to US data. Only injuries that cause at least 48 hours of hospitalisation are reported to the US National Transportation Safety Board.

According to a study by Britain’s University of Reading, published in Advances in Atmospheric Sciences, turbulence strong enough to catapult unbuckled passengers and crew around the cabin could become twice or even three times as common later this century because of climate change.

Written by Peter Needham

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