A total of 30 passengers were injured when a Hainan Airlines flight began violently shaking as it was descending in Beijing yesterday afternoon.
Passengers onboard flight HU7148, which took off from Chengdu, Sichuan province, said people were thrown from their seats and described the experience as “terrifying”.
Fortunately, the plane landed safely at the Beijing Capital International at 2:17 p.m. Of the 30 people injured, 23 were sent to the hospital while seven of them suffered only minor wounds that didn’t require medical attention.
One of the passengers, surnamed Lin, said many of the passengers were not wearing seat belts at the time.
“We heard two alarms at around 2:00 p.m. which were immediately followed by weightlessness. I didn’t buckle up, so I was directly thrown to the ceiling and landed on the row behind us,” Lin said.
“During the flight, I experienced the strongest shaking I have ever had on an airplane,” another passenger wrote online.
“Seeing people behind me having their heads knocked [against the ceiling of the plane] and being covered in blood, hearing the air stewardess speak through a microphone in sobs, I was truly scared.”
One person onboard the flight posted an image of an overhead panel that was left dangling in the air after being damaged in the turbulence.
A representative with Hainan Airlines said cabin crew had no pre warning about the rough air, likely contributing to the shock of the experience.
“Around 25 minutes before arrival in Beijing, the aircraft suddenly encountered clear air turbulence at the aircraft was descending to 42-hundred meters. Medium air turbulence lasted for one to two seconds, and then strong turbulence followed for two seconds. There was no sign of any turbulence in advance,” the airliner said.
And that, Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, is why they put seat belts on planes.