Nine people were injured when a Hong Kong-bound Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) plane was hit by turbulence Sunday morning.
Several crew members and passengers were thrown to the roof of the cabin, Ming Pao Daily reports.
Flight KL887 departed Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon and was scheduled to arrive in Hong Kong at 10:10 a.m. Sunday.
About 30 to 40 minutes before arrival, when the plane was 30,000 feet above the northeastern part of Guangdong province, some passengers had unfastened their seat belts after a meal.
It was at this moment when the aircraft met a strong turbulence. It rattled vigorously and went into a free fall, according to a passenger.
Several cabin crew and passengers were thrown to the roof as chaos engulfed the cabin, with passengers screaming in panic and crying for help.
The plunge lasted two seconds and the pilot assured passengers about their safety. He went to the cabin to check on them.
The plane landed safely at 10:16 a.m. and emergency services were called to the scene.
The Hong Kong Airport Authority said airport operations were not affected by the incident.
The Fire Services Department said seven ambulances and a mobile casualty treatment center were mobilized.
Eight people, four men and four women, who required medical treatment were taken to hospital. One passenger refused to go to hospital after treatment on the spot.
According to Apple Daily, the plane was hit by clear-air turbulence, a kind of turbulence without any visual clues such as clouds. It is caused when bodies of air moving at widely different speeds collide.
A stewardess said this was the strongest turbulence she had encountered in 20 years.
– Contact us at [email protected]