Midair Turbulence Causes Fractures And Bruises: Aeroflot Passenger Jet To Bangkok Experiences Extreme Weather

Several passengers on board an Aeroflot flight to Bangkok suffered fractured bones, concussions, bleeding, and bruises after the passenger jet experienced severe weather phenomenon called an “air hole.” Although none of the flyers suffered any life-threatening injuries, the jetliner’s interior resembled a war zone, with injured bodies and luggage strewn across the aisle.

More than two dozen passengers were injured after an Aeroflot flight flying from Russia to Thailand experienced severe turbulence on Monday. Short clips recorded by passengers revealed a very chaotic scene. Traces of blood smeared across an overhead storage bin and passengers lying in aisles are ample indicators of the severity of the incident. Fortunately, none of the 27 passengers who suffered varying degrees of injuries died as a result. Aeroflot authorities quickly acknowledged the incident.

Interestingly, according to a statement from Russian Embassy in Bangkok, the injuries were the result of passengers not listening to or abiding the safety instructions.

“24 Russians and 3 Thais were hurt, with some suffering serious fractures and bruising, when the plane unexpectedly hit an ‘air hole’ during its approach to Suvarnabhumi Airport. The reason behind the injuries was that some of the passengers had not had their seatbelts fastened. All victims were taken to a local hospital with various injuries, mostly fractures and bruises. Some require surgery. Fifteen people remain hospitalized.”

Meanwhile, the Airport Authority of Thailand offered a press release stating that about 30 passengers had been injured during the flight. However, only 27 injured flyers were transferred to Samitivej Srinakarin hospital in Bangkok, while the remaining three chose to seek their own treatment at an undisclosed medical facility of their choice.

3 hours ago I was on a Plane going From Moscow to Bangkok, out of nowhere we hit turbulence, that was so bad that it was throwing people around like crazy. Blood everywhere, people with broken bones, noses, open fractures, baby’s with head injuries, I can keep going and going. Thank God we are Alive! I really hope @aeroflot @aeroflotrus will do right by everybody that got hurt! Aeroflot personnel was nothing but heroes who did everything that they could to help the people that were hurt. Regarding the pilot, I can say he saved us all. #thankyou I can honestly say I have never been so scared in my life before. #aeroflot #emergency. we are ok!

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The Boeing 777 Aeroflot passenger jet that experienced the turbulence was traveling from Moscow to Bangkok. The plane was carrying 318 passengers and was manned by a crew of 14. According to the company, it was struck with turbulence as it flew over Myanmar. As per the flight records, the plane was hit by a severe weather phenomenon called an air hole while it was merely 40 minutes away from landing. The airline maintains that the passenger jet was being operated by an experienced crew. The company added that the pilot had logged more than 23,000 flight hours. However, the weather pattern was “impossible to foresee,” and hence, the crew was unable to warn the passengers in time. In an ideal situation, the in-flight crew should have cautioned the passengers to return to their seats and buckle their seatbelts.

Also known as Clear-Air Turbulence (CAT) or air pockets, an air hole is nearly impossible to see or predict. The phenomenon is so named because of marked absence of any visual clues such as cloud formations. Unfortunately, the altitude at which an air hole is most likely to occur is the typical cruising altitude for a passenger jet. This type of turbulence is most frequently encountered in the regions of jet streams. An air hole isn’t visible on conventional radar systems. Although the phenomenon is quite common, only specialized ground-based advanced sensors can detect the same.

According to a few passengers, the turbulence experienced by the Aeroflot passenger jet lasted for about 10 seconds. However, the small duration of time was enough to fling passengers who weren’t tethered to their seats. Several passengers even bumped against the plane’s inner ceiling. While a few broke their noses, a few babies were hurt as well. A passenger described the incident as experiencing a tire burst while driving a car, reported USA Today.

[Featured Image by Mike Kemp/Getty Images]