Viral videos making rounds of social media show SpiceJet aircraft passengers fighting fear and panic amid severe turbulence. In the wake of the incident, at least 17 people have been reported to be injured. According to reports, the SpiceJet aircraft was flying from Mumbai to Durgapur. Following the incident, the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) has appointed a team to carry out an investigation on the shocking turn-of-events.
Reportedly the Boeing 737-800 aircraft had taken off from Mumbai on Sunday a few minutes past 5pm and encountered severe turbulence when it was about to approach the Kazi Narzul Islam Airport, Durgapur. Fortunately, the airplane landed safely without any casualties at 7.15pm. According to reports, not just passengers but airline crew also suffered injuries due to the turbulence incident.
Harrowing video taken from inside the flight shows people’s belongings scattered on the airplane aisle with oxygen masks over the passengers’ heads waiting to be put on. The aisle can also be seen littered with plastic cups used to serve refreshments. Airline crew meanwhile can be seen trying to assist the passengers as the airplane shakes and stirs thousands of feet in the air.
According to Flightinjury.com, every year, approximately 58 persons are reported injured due to incidents caused by turbulence in United States alone. Further, from 1980-2004, a total of 198 turbulence related mishaps were reported causing 266 injuries and even three. As one would assume, fatalities caused due to turbulence occurred as the passengers had not put on their seatbelts. What makes the statistics further harrowing is that such incidents occur about 30,000 feet in the air.
On Sunday, Indian airline SpiceJet reported one such incident where at least 17 people were reported injured. Video of SpiceJet plane flying through turbulence have been making rounds of social media.
The Facts of the Matter
Turbulence incidents are usually one of the most frightening experiences travelers go through while sitting in an airplane. Even the most seasoned fliers cross their fingers every time they sit on a flight, hoping that their flight meets no turbulence. Such turbulent incidents can come out without any alert, and can shake and stir passengers out of their comfort and can cause injuries or even deaths.
Passengers Suffer Head Injuries, Spinal Injury
On Sunday, SpiceJet’s Boeing 737-800 was flying from Mumbai to Durgapur when it met with such a catastrophic turbulence that it caused injuries to both passengers and cabin crew alike. Following the incident, DGCA Arun Kumar was quoted in an Indian Express report saying, “Besides a member of the cabin crew, around 14 passengers were injured in the incident. A few of them have head injuries and have received stitches. One passenger has also complained of a spinal injury.”
SpiceJet Plane had Flown Right into the Storm
Following the incident, SpiceJet spokesperson issued a statement wherein it was reported that the airplane flew right into a storm while it was on its way to land at the Durgapur airport. Chaos-ensued in the 189-seater aircraft as objects propelled through the cabin, oxygen masks fell down from their slots, and airline crew asked people to hold tight and fasten their seatbelts.
Video Shows Panic Inside the SpiceJet Plane
Moments caught on cam show sheer panic on the faces of travelers as the plane’s aisle is littered with plastic cups and random objects. The turbulence was so rough that even baggage kept in the cabins fell on the passengers.
Extreme turbulence in a flight between Mumbai to Durgapur. I can feel what's going on in the minds of passengers when oxygen masks are coming down.
Airline was SpiceJet. Again it was B737 MAX.
— Yuvraj Sharma (@SharmaYuv1) May 1, 2022
Airline Liable to Pay Up To Rs 20 Lakhs
Following the incident, the DGCA formed a committee to conduct a probe in the matter. It should be noted that in case of domestic travel, if a death or an injury is caused to an on-board passenger, the airline is liable to pay a sum of up to Rs. 20 lakhs.