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32 injured after severe turbulence

The Etihad flight encountered the turbulence about 45 minutes before it landed at Jakarta’s Soekarno Hatta International Airport. Picture: Roderick Eime

Staff writers with wiresnews.com.au

SEVERE turbulence during a Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta has left terrified passengers with broken bones and damaged the interior of the plane.

Thirty-one passengers and a crew member were injured when flight EY474 encountered “severe and unexpected” turbulence about 45 minutes before it landed in the Indonesian capital.

The Airbus A330-200 managed a safe landing but nine passengers and a member of the flight crew were taken to a nearby hospital with injuries, Etihad said.

The other 22 injured people were treated by paramedics at a medical clinic at Indonesia’s Soekarno Hatta International Airport.

The nine people who were taken to hospital were seriously injured, a spokesman for the airport said.

Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesman Hemi Pamuraharjo said several of the injured has suffered broken bones.

An injured passenger is taken to hospital after the flight landed at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Picture: AP Photo/APTN

An injured passenger is taken to hospital after the flight landed at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. Picture: AP Photo/APTNSource:AP

The airline did not elaborate on the nature of the injuries but said the turbulence was so severe it damaged cabin storage bins.

Etihad did not immediately answer questions about how many passengers were on-board, AP reports.

It said the airline’s planned flight from Jakarta to Abu Dhabi on Wednesday on the same plane had been cancelled and the airline was assisting passengers.

Passengers on-board who spoke to Jakarta-based news website Okezone said oxygen masks tumbled out in the turbulence.

Less seriously injured passengers were treated at the airport’s medical clinic. Picture: AP Photo/APTN

Less seriously injured passengers were treated at the airport’s medical clinic. Picture: AP Photo/APTNSource:AP

They said passengers, including Muslim pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, were hurt.

“It happened when I was performing (prayer),” passenger Nenden Nurhaini told Okezone.

“The plane suddenly began to shake so fast.”

Etihad, like its older Gulf rivals Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates, has grown rapidly in recent years primarily by attracting long-haul transit passengers, and has a good safety record.

The scary incident comes less than a month after severe turbulence shook a Thai Airlines flight from Jakarta to Bangkok, leaving five crew members and one passenger injured.

The passenger, who was reportedly not wearing a seatbelt, hit his head on the overhead locker and photographs of his blood-soaked seat went viral after the incident.

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