'We flew up and hit the ceiling': Dozens injured as Hong Kong flights hit by turbulence
Emily Tsang and Shirley Zhao
Passengers yesterday told of the chaos on board two flights from Thailand on which dozens suffered injuries when they hit severe air turbulence.
Forty-three people aboard Thai Airways flight TG600 from Bangkok and six people on Hong Kong Airlines flight HK762 from Phuket suffered injuries shortly before both landed at Chek Lap Kok airport.
A crew member aboard the Thai Airways flight suffered a broken collarbone, the National News Bureau of Thailand (NNT) reported.
A Thai couple, who refused to disclose their names, said they had just got back to their seats from the bathroom on the Thai Airways jet, an Airbus A380. They were among several passengers who were not wearing seat belts when the incidents occurred.
"The plane suddenly dropped and bounced back and we just flew up and hit the ceiling," said the husband, who wore a patch on the right of his forehead.
"I felt dizzy and was surprised. I remained conscious, just not sure what had happened."
His wife said a cart carrying bottles of drinking water was thrown into the air.
"There was a lot of broken glass in the plane," she said.
She was angry that the airline staff had not taken better care of them after they were admitted to hospital. "At least they should move us to a private hospital," she said. "In Bangkok we never went to government hospitals."
Most of the injured were taken to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung, while some went to Yan Chai Hospital in Tsuen Wan, Caritas Medical Centre in Lai Chi Kok and Kwong Wah Hospital in Yau Ma Tei.
A father and son from the mainland were among the injured on the Thai Airways flight.
The man said he was standing in the aisle when the turbulence hit and he was tossed against the ceiling, hurting his head. His son, eight, who was sitting with his seat belt fastened, hit his head against the seat's arm rest.
Another passenger from the Thai Airways flight said he was thrown into the air and his head hit the overhead luggage compartment. Many people had twisted necks, he said. A passenger from the Hong Kong Airlines flight said flight staff dropped to the floor and waited until the turbulence was over.
Hong Kong Airlines said all the injured from its flight - three staff and three passengers - had been discharged. Twenty of the passengers injured on the Thai Airways flight were still in hospital last night.
Unstable weather caused delays to at least 105 flights yesterday morning.