China Eastern Airlines have confirmed five passengers and two crew members have been taken to hospital yesterday for injuries caused at a high altitude prior to approach to Sydney’s Kingsford-Smith Airport.
It’s an unfortunate start to the airline’s expansion into Australia, having just commenced flights between Kunming and Sydney last week.
Flight MU777 was flying from China’s Kunming region with 212 on board the A330, and hit turbulence around 20,000 feet causing injury to some unfastened passengers before landing safely at 2:45 pm in Sydney.
Injuries were reported to include neck pain, back pain, jaw laceration, wrist injury and a minor head injury. According to news reports, none were considered to be life-threatening.
According to reports, one passenger Jack Chen, told Seven News “Before the landing there was terrible turbulence, and some passengers [were] without their seatbelt and their head hitting the top of the aeroplane”.
“We are liaising with the hospitals to monitor the injured passengers and our focus for now is on the wellbeing of all our passengers and crew,” China Eastern’s General Manager for Oceania Kathy Zhang said.
“The safety of our passengers is our primary concern and we have confirmed that all of the affected passengers are in a stable condition having received treatment for their injuries.”
China Eastern has set up a hotline for any concerned family members and the airline will provide regular updates to its website. The hotline number is 0416 791 968 (+61 416 791 968).