A SpiceJet flight on Sunday evening experienced major mid-air turbulence while descending, which led to cabin luggage falling on the heads of flyers. A video shot by a passenger and posted on Twitter, shows the chilling experience.
The SpiceJet plane, SG-945, was attempting a landing at Kazi Nazrul Islam airport in West Bengal’s Durgapur when it encountered a storm, locally known as Kalbaisakhi. The oxygen masks dropped and luggage fell out of the overhead bins on the passengers, injuring several.
On microblogging site Twitter, a clip of the near tragedy was shared by Yuvraj Sharma. He wrote:” Extreme turbulence in a flight between Mumbai to Durgapur. I can feel what’s going on in the minds of passengers when oxygen masks are coming down. Airline was SpiceJet. Again it was B737 MAX. Never travelling in this aircraft. But thankfully no major accident.”
At least 40 passengers were reportedly hurt, while 10 sustained serious injuries to the head and back.
One of the passengers spoke to India Today, saying, “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.”
Another passenger named Mohammad Iqbal recounted that flyers were tossed about like ragdolls. “It felt like the flight was tilting this way and that. Some people toppled backwards off their seats. Luggage came falling out of the overhead bins, struck people on the head,” he said.
SpiceJet, in an official statement, confirmed the incident and said its flight from Mumbai to Durgapur encountered severe turbulence which resulted in injuries to a few passengers.
However, there is no confirmation whether the Air Traffic Controller or the pilot flying the aircraft were informed of the storm. An enquiry into the matter is underway.