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Turbulent Etihad Airways flight injures 31

The plane landed safely but 31 passengers were injured, including nine who were taken to hospital for treatment

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The CEO and president of the UAE national airline Etihad has praised his staff for the handling of a midair incident that saw several of its passengers injured when the flight they were on hit an unexpected sudden pocket of turbulence.

Flight EY474 was preparing to land when it was hit by “severe and unexpected turbulence” about 45 minutes before landing at Soekarno Hatta International Airport in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

A statement from the airline added that the plane landed safely but 31 passengers were injured, including nine who were taken to hospital for treatment. The airline did not provide details on the severity of the injuries. It says the turbulence was severe enough that it damaged cabin storage bins.

Etihad Airways’ President and Chief Executive Officer James Hogan later said of the incident: “Our pilots and cabin crew are to be commended for the calm and professional manner in which they dealt with this exceptional event, and the care they showed the passengers, despite several being injured themselves.

“It is testament to the high standard of our crew training that the effects of the turbulence were minimized. At no time was the safety of the aircraft, passengers or crew compromised.”

Etihad Airways is cooperating fully with the Indonesian authorities in their investigation.

(With AP)