A SpiceJet flight from Mumbai to Durgapur in West Bengal encountered severe turbulence during descent which resulted in injuries to at least passengers. The plane was attempting to land at Kazi Nazrul Islam airport, also known as Andal airport, in Durgapur at the time of the incident.
Of these 40 passengers, 10 have serious injuries whereas the rest were discharged after receiving treatment for minor injuries. Authorities at the Andal hospital have said that the condition of the 10 passengers is critical but they are out of danger.
The flight was about to land when it began hobbling and the cabin baggage fell on passengers in the midst of a massive turbulence due to extreme bad weather. A probe is currently underway to ascertain how the plane got caught in a storm.
One of the passengers told India Today, “There were three jerks while landing. It felt exactly how it feels when cars hit bumpers. We had seat belts on. The belts tore on impact. We jounced on our seats.”
Andal Hospital’s Dr Tapan Ray said that one passenger was severely injured and had to be referred for spine surgery. Ray believes the overhead bin crashed and left several, including the cabin crew, injured.
After the incident, SpiceJet confirmed in an official statement that the Boeing B737 aircraft operating flight SG-945 from Mumbai to Durgapur encountered severe turbulence during descent which resulted in injuries to a few passengers.
It said, “Immediate medical assistance was provided upon arrival in Durgapur. SpiceJet expresses its regret at this unfortunate incident and is providing all possible medical help to the injured.”
It further stated, “It was not an emergency landing as the plane was scheduled to land at Andal airport. The problem occurred due to air turbulence by a norwesters locally called Kalbaishakhi, a storm.”
SpiceJet said in another update that 11 passengers travelling on the Mumbai-Durgapur flight were hospitalised. It further said 8 passengers out of 11 have been discharged so far, while adding that SpiceJet is providing all possible help to the injured.
The airline further said, “The seat belt sign was on when the aircraft encountered turbulence. Multiple announcements were made by the pilots and the crew instructing passengers to remain seated and keep their seat belts fastened. Due to severe turbulence, injuries were caused to few passengers. Timely medical assistance was provided upon arrival.”
(With India Today inputs)
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