Emirates passengers injured in turbulence drama
Some passengers on an Emirates flight from Dubai to Kochi on Sunday suffered minor injuries when the aircraft dropped almost 15,000 feet in an air pocket.
The airline confirmed that 20 passengers were injured during "heavy turbulence" prior to descent into India.
The pilot managed to control the flight at an altitude of around 5,000 feet and landed safely at the Kochi airport, Indian media reported.
Reports said the incident took place when the aircraft fell sharply from 20,000 feet to 5,000 feet while flying over Goa.
A team of doctors examined all those passengers who suffered shock and bruises when the aircraft landed in Kochi, the airline said.
Majid Al Mualla, senior vice president, Commercial Operations West Asia & Indian Ocean, said: "EK530 from Dubai to Kochi encountered a short period of heavy turbulence prior to descent into India.
"There were 350 passengers on board the flight, 20 of whom suffered minor injuries. The flight landed safely in Kochi and the captain requested medical support to meet the aircraft. All affected passengers were treated and have now been released. Emirates places the highest importance on the safety of our passengers and staff."
One passenger told the Times of India: "Some of the passengers were shouting and crying for help. And for three minutes no one knew what was happening. Many were thrown out of their seats; some had their heads hitting the roof of the aircraft. A child was thrown out of the seat. We felt that everything was coming to an end."
He added that the passengers clapped when the aircraft landed safely at the Kochi airport.
An air pocket is a downward air current that causes an aircraft to lose altitude abruptly. It is a localised region of low air density or a descending air current, causing an aircraft to suffer an abrupt decrease in height.