27 injured when Aeroflot plane hits severe turbulence

ajc.com

Credit: Embassy of the Russian Federation in the Kingdom of Thailand

At least 27 people were injured Monday when an Aeroflot plane traveling from Moscow hit an air pocket while approaching Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, the Russian embassy in Thailand said in a statement.

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The injured include 24 Russians and three Thai nationals who suffered injuries ranging from bruises to fractures and broken bones. Four people required surgery, the Russian embassy in Thailand said.

Aeroflot Flight SU270 was about 40 minutes out from Bangkok when it hit “sudden strong short-term turbulence,” the airline said in a statement.

“An experienced crew piloted the flight,” the company said. “However, the turbulence that hit the Boeing 777 was impossible to foresee.”

Aeroflot said crew members were unable to warn passengers before the turbulence because there were no clouds visible or weather radar data indicating that the plane was about to hit the air pocket.

The injured people were not wearing seatbelts, the Russian embassy in Thailand said.

Video posted to social media showed chaos on the flight after the turbulence. A video posted to Instagram by passenger Rostik Rusev showed two people laying in the plane’s aisle and service items strewn across the back of the plane.

"It lasted for about 10 seconds, the plane was being thrown everywhere," Rusev, a Ukrainian-born resident of New Jersey, told CNN. "There was blood on the ceiling, people with broken noses, babies who were hurt, it was horrible. It came out of nowhere. It was like driving a car and a tire suddenly bursts."

He praised the work of the flight’s crew, telling CNN that they “couldn’t have been more professional and courageous.”

“They were heroes in everything they were doing,” he said.

The plane successfully landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport around 7:40 a.m. local time.