Injuries as Qantas Flight QF68 Hits Turbulence over Borneo

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Monday, 22 June 2009

The overnight Qantas flight - QF68 - between Hong Kong and Perth encountered severe turbulence over Borneo in Malaysia approximately 4 hours out of Hong Kong.

As a result, 6 passengers and 1 crew member sustained minor injuries and were treated on board.

The 7 people who required hospitalisation once they had landed in Perth have already been released from hospital.

"The aircraft most likely encountered what is known as convective turbulence, which led to it rapidly gaining around 800 feet in altitude before returning to its cruising altitude of 38,000 feet," said Qantas Group Executive Government and Corporate Affairs, Mr David Epstein. "This convective turbulence is not normally visible to weather radar."

There were 206 passengers and 13 flight and cabin crew on the aircraft.

Turbulence, especially at this time of year which is the rainy season in many parts of Asia, is a common occurrence and the main reason that passengers are always encouraged to wear their seat belt at all times while seated inflight.

The Airbus A330-300 aircraft was being flown by an experienced crew led by Captain Brett Flack.

The captain also reported minor damage to 2 overhead panels in the cabin and 2 oxygen masks were dislodged.

The plane landed safely in Perth at around 07:45 local time.

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