A Qantas Airbus A380 jet carrying 450 passengers was flying from London to Sydney on Sunday when it was hit by turbulence that one passenger described as “just one massive jolt.”
Cuts, Bruises and Broken Bones
Seven people were injured, mostly suffering cuts and bruises, but there were also reports of a few broken bones. Four of the passengers were hospitalized after the plane landed in Singapore where the plane had been scheduled for a stopover.
Heads Hit, Went Through Overhead Bins
According to witnesses, the pilot had just flicked on the fasten seat belt sign when the plane seemed to drop from the sky, sending bodies flying (and as is well known, turbulence can and does come out of nowhere – with no warning).
One UK passenger described the scene with typical British understatement: “I believe somebody’s head went through an overhead [bin].” Others said passengers were screaming as seatmates went hurtling toward the cabin ceiling. Many had not been wearing seat belts when the drama began, and a malfunctioning restroom meant longer lines of people standing in the aisles to use what lavatories were available.
After a 24-hour stay in Singapore during which the plane was checked out and pronounced safe for travel, most of the passengers continued on their way to Australia.
Most airlines recommend travelers be belted in whenever they’re in their seats, regardless of what the seat belt sign says.