30 minutes before landing at Hong Kong airport a KLM Boeing 747-400 (PH-BFR) was hit by severe turbulence. Passengers not wearing their seatbelt were tossed around the aircraft, 7 passengers and 2 crewmembers got injured.
Police said five men and four women, aged 31 to 55, had been hurt.
Ambulances, fire engines and police arrived at the scene as the Boeing 747 pulled into Terminal 1. Some of the injured were seen wearing oxygen masks and head braces as they were lifted onto stretchers.
By Sunday evening, seven of the eight people sent to hospitals were discharged.
Responding to inquiries from the South China Morning Post, a KLM spokesman said: “Immediately after the incident, the captain requested priority to land, which was granted by air traffic control.”
He added: “KLM will assist the [injured] passengers and crew members. We are also taking care of the other passengers as it might have also been a frightening experience for them.”
A passenger who was unhurt said that “a few people were screaming” after the plane encountered the turbulence.
Another who was sent to hospital described it as a “slight drop”, adding he sustained a “cut across the ribs” in the chaos.