At least 27 people have been injured on an Aeroflot flight from Moscow to Bangkok when the Boeing 777 hit an air pocket without warning, slamming some passengers into the ceiling of the plane.
The Russian airline said in a statement that several passengers were injured during “severe turbulence” 40 minutes before landing in the Thai capital.
It said the crew was unable to warn passengers of the approaching danger as the turbulence occurred in clear sky.
The Russian embassy in Bangkok said 24 of the injured were Russian nationals and 15 of them were taken to hospital for treatment. The other three injured were from Thailand.
“All the injured were sent to a local hospital with injuries of a different kind of severity, mainly fractures and bruises,” the embassy said.
“The reasons behind the injures was that some of the passengers had not had their seatbelts fastened.”
Passenger phone footage broadcast by the Russian Rossiya 24 state television channel exposed a scene of chaos inside the cabin, with injured passengers on the floor, smears of blood on luggage racks and oxygen masks hanging down.
“We were hurled up into the roof of the plane, it was practically impossible to hold on,” a passenger named only as Yevgenia told Rossiya 24.
“It felt like the shaking wouldn’t stop, that we would just crash.”
Fellow passenger Rostik Rusev shared video of the aftermath on Instagram, with the caption: “I was on a plane going from Moscow to Bangkok, out of nowhere we hit turbulence, that was so bad that it was throwing people around like crazy”.
“Blood everywhere, people with broken bones, noses, open fractures, babies with head injuries, I can keep going and going. Thank God we are alive! I really hope Aeroflot will do right by everybody! I can honestly say I have never been so scared in my life before,” Mr Rusev wrote.
Aeroflot operates two flights a day from Moscow to Bangkok.
Thailand is a popular destination for Russian tourists, with many visiting the country’s beach resorts.
– With agencies