At least 27 people – including three babies – suffered major injuries in the aftermath of severe turbulence which happened en route on Aeroflot flight SU270 from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Bangkok during the night of 30 April to 1 May, forty minutes before landing.
The turbulence happened suddenly and unexpectedly, in clear skies, hence the crew were not able to warn the passengers.
Dramatic pictures show passengers (most of which are Russian) lying injured in the aisle after they were hurled up to the ceiling. Most people walking in the aisle or sitting without seat belts on were injured.
Luggage as well as food and drink from the trolleys was strewn all over the cabin.
Numerous air pockets one hour before landing led to broken bones, internal and external bleeding.
No injuries were life-threatening, but several passengers suffered broken bones and three needed surgery, Russian officials said. Lots of people from the tail cabin have broken their noses. Babies are covered in bruises, people lost consciousness.
The plane – a Boeing 777-300ER registered VP-BGD – was packed with tourists (313 passengers) and hit several successive areas of turbulence. The flight crew kept control of the aircraft and the injured passengers were rushed to hospital on arrival in the Thai capital.
Twenty-four of those injured were Russians while the other three were Thai. Three people needed surgery, two for multiple leg fractures and one for broken ribs.
By early evening on Monday, 14 passengers remained in hospital, according to Aeroflot, which has said it will pay the medical costs of the injured.
The Russian embassy in Bangkok provided assistance to the injured passengers and their families.