Video shows turbulence that injured 27, threw passengers into plane's aisles
According to a statement from the Russian Embassy in Bangkok, 24 Russians and 3 Thais were hurt in the incident. "Some injured passengers were not wearing seat belts. All victims were taken to a local hospital with various injuries, mostly fractures and bruises. Some require surgery. Fifteen people remain hospitalized," the embassy said.
The flight, according to CNN, was carrying 318 passengers and 14 crew members when it struck turbulence as it flew over Myanmar.
"It lasted for about ten seconds, the plane was being thrown everywhere," Rostik Rusev, a passenger on the flight, 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. The aircraft personnel couldn't have been more professional and courageous. They were heroes in everything they were doing."
Several passengers recorded the horrific aftermath of the brief event and shared it to social media.
Aeroflot said in a statement that the type of turbulence the plane hit is known as "clear sky turbulence,” which is incredibly difficult to predict.
The Federal Aviation Administration explained: “Clear air turbulence is air movement created by atmospheric pressure, jet streams, air around mountains, cold or warm weather fronts or thunderstorms. It can be unexpected and can happen when the sky appears to be clear.”
According to the Aeroflot statement, around 750 cases of clear sky turbulence occur globally each year. And while turbulence undoubtedly makes most travelers uneasy, it’s not something to really worry about.
As Patrick Smith, pilot and author of "Cockpit Confidential: Everything You Need to Know About Air Travel: Questions, Answers, and Reflections,” told LiveScience: “The pilots aren't worried about the wings falling off; they're trying to keep their customers relaxed and everybody's coffee where it belongs.”