26 hurt when China Eastern flight hits turbulence

AT least 26 people were injured, four of them seriously, when a China Eastern Airlines flight from Paris hit turbulence over southwest China yesterday.

The incident happened when Flight MU744 from Charles de Gaulle Airport was descending to land at Kunming Changshui International Airport in Yunnan Province, Xinhua news agency reported.

Passengers are being treated for fractures, scalp lacerations and soft tissue injuries caused by falling baggage or collisions with overhead lockers, it cited local hospitals as saying.

“We felt strong turbulence twice and minor turbulence three times. The process lasted about 10 minutes,” Xinhua quoted a passenger surnamed Zhang, who was slightly injured, as saying.

The nationalities of the injured passengers are unclear.

China Eastern Airlines said on its microblog that it had arranged medical services but gave no other details.

“(We) remind all passengers, for your safety, please fasten safety belts,” the post added.

The plane landed around 9am yesterday, an hour later than scheduled, according to Xinhua.

“We applauded when the plane landed safely,” an injured passenger surnamed Shang was quoted as saying.

“We feel lucky the plane did not crash.”

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