More than 30 injured as turbulence hits Etihad Airways flight to Indonesia

Nine said to have serious injuries, including broken bones, after ‘severe and unexpected’ turbulence hits flight EY474 from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta

Thirty-one passengers and crew were injured, nine seriously, after an Etihad Airways flight experienced “severe and unexpected turbulence” on its journey to Indonesia.

The Airbus A330-200, flying from the Emirati capital of Abu Dhabi, encountered the sudden turbulence 45 minutes prior to its arrival at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta international airport on Wednesday, the airline said.

“A total of 31 passengers and crew were injured. Twenty two have been released from the airport clinic after being treated by paramedics for minor injuries.

“Nine other passengers and a crew member were taken to a local hospital,” the Etihad statement said.

Haerul Anwar, a spokesman for the airport, described nine of the injuries as serious. He said officials from the airport and Indonesia’s national transportation safety committee were inspecting the plane.

Indonesian transportation ministry spokesman Hemi Pamuraharjo said at least eight Indonesian passengers and a foreign flight attendant were among the injured, with several suffering broken bones.

Flight EY474 landed safely at Soekarno Hatta, the Abu Dhabi-based airline said, adding that medical assistance teams met passengers as they disembarked.

Passengers onboard who spoke to Jakarta-based news website Okezone said oxygen masks tumbled out in the turbulence and passengers, including Muslim pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, were hurt.

Cabin storage areas were also damaged, the airline said.

The return flight to Abu Dhabi was cancelled, with Etihad saying it would provide support to passengers to rebook for different flights or find accommodation in Jakarta.

Associated Press and Agence France-Presse contributed to this report

Staff and agencies

The GuardianTramp

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