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  • Apr 17, 2014
  • Updated: 5:13am

Cathay Pacific

Hong Kong carrier, Cathay Pacific Airways, was founded in 1946 by American Roy C. Farrell and Australian Sydney H. de Kantzow, offering scheduled passenger and cargo services. Cathay also owns Dragonair and in 2010, Cathay Pacific and Dragonair carried nearly 27 million passengers and over 1.8 million tonnes of cargo and mail. Cathay Pacific was a founder member of the Oneworld alliance.

NewsHong Kong
AVIATION

12 people hurt as plane hits 'strong turbulence'

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 18 February, 2014, 8:21pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 19 February, 2014, 4:25am

At least 12 passengers and crew members were injured while travelling on a Cathay Pacific flight from San Francisco to Hong Kong yesterday when the plane hit "strong turbulence" as it passed over Japan.

On arrival, the two injured crew members and six of the injured passengers were sent to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung and North Lantau Hospital in Tung Chung.

Of the eight, a stewardess was still in serious condition in hospital last night. She was earlier seen being taken to hospital with a neck brace and oxygen mask on.

The other seven were released from hospital after treatment.

Four other passengers had minor injuries that did not require hospital treatment.

"It was even more intense than sitting on a roller coaster," said one of the passengers.

"[The plane] was jolted for at least two minutes. I was thrown up very high."

He said there was no broadcast or signal requiring passengers to fasten their seatbelts before the turbulence, which started very suddenly.

He described how some passengers were thrown out of their seats and into the overhead lockers. The person in front of him hit the locker so hard that it was damaged, he said.

Flight CX879 left San Francisco on Monday with 321 passengers and 21 crew aboard when the Boeing 747 unexpectedly ran into strong turbulence over Hokkaido at around 12.30pm, Cathay said.

The plane landed at Chek Lap Kok airport at 6.26pm.

Seven ambulances were waiting at the airport to take the injured to hospital, according to a photo posted on the Facebook page of a group of aviation enthusiasts.

Cathay said the crew members had already begun treating the injured on board the plane and the airline would provide further support for them in Hong Kong.

The Airport Authority said it had made the necessary arrangements to facilitate rescue efforts after the airline notified it of the accident.

The Civil Aviation Department said it would send officers to look into the cause of the problem and would decide whether an investigation was necessary.

The department also said it would assist an investigation into the incident to be spearheaded by the Japan Transport Safety Board.

 

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CatherineOhlLaw
I seriously question the judgment of the captain who decided to continue on to HK for another 6 hours after such an incident.
Possibilities of ensuing technical problems with the aircraft or deteriorating conditions of the wounded passengers and crew should have dictated maybe more common sense in decision-making than the obvious cost/hassle aspects of an emergency landing in one of the numerous airports in the vicinity. He was lucky nothing more developed. should we start worrying about safety decisions at Cathay Pacific ?
CatherineOhlLaw
I seriously question the judgment of the captain who decided to continue on to HK for another 6 hours after such an incident.
Possibilities of ensuing technical problems with the aircraft or deteriorating conditions of the wounded passengers and crew should have dictated maybe more common sense in decision-making than the obvious cost/hassle aspects of an emergency landing in one of the numerous airports in the vicinity. He was lucky nothing more developed. should we start worrying about safety decisions at Cathay Pacific ?
captam
So if some of these passengers and crew members were seriously injured, why wasn't the aircraft diverted to the closest airport in Japan which had suitable hospitals and emergency facilities? The injured obviously had to suffer in pain for several hours more on this long flight. Too mean to pick up the bill for a diversion?
cbre07
Passengers should always wear belts when seated and there are constant announcements and reminders to this effect during every flight. It's common sense.
lexishk
I believe the wording of the announcement actually includes the phrase "in case of unexpected turbulence".
vincentsunder
As one of the passengers in the last seat, there was no announcement to wear belts. Thankfully I was belted. We were hit when meals had been served. It was a complete mess with overhead bins opening up & suitcases flying out! The alleys were strewn with plates, cutlery, food. As there was another 6 more hours it would have made sense to stop midway to treat the injured & get food supplies. We were without food/water for 6 hours after the incident, and many of us had not completed the meals either. Worse was waiting 45 mins after landing before we could alight and get something to eat! Attendants did a good job of cleaning what they could though!
toni.aj.90
airline always have announcement to fasten your seat belt, when the fasten seat belt sign/lamp off..and you should always fasten it every time..did you still want to eat after this accident?..fiuh...can you imagine how mess the food and drinks in the galley?you still want eat that? come on..
Camel
Now you see the point why it is recommended to fasten always the seat belt when seated. Also why the airline only allows handy handbags of max 5 kg only to bring into the cabin and store in the overhead lockers. With this turbulence the 5kg bag become easily the 10 times weight and imagine this 10x weight of this bag hits your face when flying around. All safety measures on a plane make sense. We only have to follow them. You were lucky though.
lexishk
Of course, passengers push the limits on cabin baggage further and further every year. I'd like to see the airlines crack down on this. It's getting as bad as TST on the weekend.
pbhawk
How many injured werent wearing their seatbelts? And how many still managed to stand up before the fasten seatbelt sign was switched off when the plane landed ?

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