27 injured after aircraft hits strong turbulence

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A still image from video shows passengers lying on floor and debris in plane cabin onboard an Aeroflot Boeing 777 flight from Moscow to Bangkok after it hit turbulence, May 1, 2017.

Provided by RR/Rostik Rusev/Handout via Reuters

BANGKOK — Twenty-seven people were injured, several with suspected spinal damage, after an aircraft heading from Moscow to Bangkok hit strong turbulence. 

The Russian Embassy in Bangkok said in a statement that Flight SU270 hit an air pocket Monday on its approach to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport, and that those injured aboard the Aeroflot Boeing 777-300 had not been wearing seat belts. 

A Russian diplomat who asked to be identified as the embassy duty officer said 15 remained hospitalized, but none had life-threatening injuries. 

According to a list issued by the embassy, the injured were all Russians ranging in age from about one to 69, except for three Thais. 

Turbulence-related injuries are extraordinarily rare given that there are hundreds of millions of passengers a year, CBS News’ correspondent Kris Van Cleave reported. 

In 2016, 44 passengers and crew members suffered turbulence-related injuries that were sufficient enough to require reporting to the United States’ Federal Aviation Administration. That figure marked a spike since the previous year, when 21 people were injured, but also a significant drop from 2009, when 107 crew members and passengers were injured during turbulence, the FAA reported.

© 2017 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Source: CBS News – World

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