Turbulence injures 26 passengers on China Eastern flight from Paris to Kunming
Incident comes a week after airline aborts Sydney to Shanghai flight due to engine damage soon after take-off
At least 26 passengers were injured when heavy turbulence struck their China Eastern flight from Paris to Kunming in southwest China, the airline said.
Other passengers on flight MU774, which was scheduled to land in the capital of Yunnan province at 7.40am, also reported feeling unwell, news site Thepaper.cn reported.
The flight crew took necessary measures and the flight landed safely, China Eastern said in a statement on Sunday morning. Medical services were provided to the passengers, it added, without elaborating.
The exact number of injured passengers was still being verified, Xinhua said.
China Eastern didn’t specify when or where the turbulence took place. Thepaper.cn said that “relevant hospitals” had confirmed they had admitted a number of passengers but did not give details of the extent of their injuries.
Passengers had been told to fasten their seat belts during the flight, but not everyone complied, passengers wrote on social media.
“I was on the flight, and I felt like I would not survive,” one passenger wrote on Weibo. “Many people were injured, and among them, many had not buckled up.”
The injured suffered fractures, cuts to their heads, bruising and other minor wounds, when they hit the overhead compartments or were struck by falling luggage, according to the hospitals.
The injured were taken to the First People’s Hospital in Yunnan and Yanan Hospital Affiliated to Kunming Medical University, after the flight landed around 9am, an hour later than scheduled, local authorities said.
Yunnan party chief Chen Hao ordered assistance be given to the affected passengers.
People commenting online said the airline should not be blamed if passengers failed to follow safety instructions.
Last week, a China Eastern flight bound for Shanghai was forced to make an emergency landing when one of its engines was severely damaged soon after take-off from Sydney.
Photos posted by internet users and carried by Shanghai-based media showed a big hole on one side of the left engine casing of the Airbus A330
The airline said crew members on the flight spotted the damage after take-off and decided to return to Sydney Airport, Chinese media reported. No passengers or crew were injured and the flight landed safely about 40 minutes after departure. No debris was found on the runway, and the carrier is investigating the incident.
Airbus China said it had been in close contact with the engine manufacturer to identify the nature of the incident.