At least five crew members and one passenger needed medical treatment after their Boeing 777 ran into severe turbulence on Monday’s Thai Airways flight from Jakarta to Bangkok.
Airline staffer Kru P’Birth uploaded photos on Facebook that showed the messy aftermath of the clear-air turbulence. Which caused service trolleys, luggage and other personal items to be tossed around the cabin as 72 passengers and 12 flight crew members struggled to hold on.
The airplane cabin resembled a bloodstained battle zone
One particularly chilling photo shows the blood-covered seat where one passenger was sitting.
The staffer said the passenger was not wearing their seatbelt and was “flown into the air and hit his head”, Thai news site Khaosod reported.
The injured people were taken to the hospital after the plane landed safely at Suvarnabhumi airport.
Thai Airways issued a statement apologizing to passengers and praising the pilots for landing the aircraft safely.
“The company apologizes to passengers who were involved in the incident,” the statement read. The company has paid the cost of medical treatment for passengers and staff injured.
“All those who were hurt on the aircraft have returned home from the hospital.”
In January, an Air New Zealand flight from Tokyo to Auckland hit severe turbulence during dinner service, flinging trays of food across the cabin and even causing red wine to splatter on the overhead compartments.
Despite these scary incidents, aviation experts say turbulence is very rarely as dangerous as passengers fear it is.
“For all intents and purposes, a plane cannot be flipped upside-down, thrown into a tailspin, or otherwise flung from the sky by even the mightiest gust or air pocket,” pilot and Cockpit Confidential author Patrick Smith wrote for news.com.au.
“Conditions might be annoying and uncomfortable, but the plane is not going to crash.
“Turbulence is an aggravating nuisance for everybody, including the crew, but it’s also, for lack of a better term, normal. From a pilot’s perspective, it is ordinarily seen as a convenience issue, not a safety issue.”