7 hurt after Qantas flight hits severe turbulence
Six passengers and one crew member were injured early Monday when a Qantas airplane suddenly lost altitude after hitting severe turbulence over Malaysia.
The plunge occurred four hours into a flight from Hong Kong to Perth, on Australia's west coast, as the Airbus A-330 was near Malaysian Borneo.
Several people flew out of their seats and hit the ceiling in the darkened cabin. One passenger said the jet dropped the height of a 30-storey building.
Most of those hurt were treated for minor injuries on board as the airliner continued to Perth, Qantas corporate affairs manager David Epstein said.
There are reports that one passenger, a woman from the Perth area, cracked the console above her seat and had to be taken to hospital for head and neck injuries.
The captain reported minor damage to two overhead panels in the cabin and the dislodgement of two oxygen masks, Qantas said.
Epstein said the aircraft rapidly returned to its cruising altitude of 38,000 feet.
The flight was carrying 206 passengers and 13 crew members, Qantas said.
The airline said there was no reason to link the incident to other recent in-flight incidents involving A-330 aircraft.
A computer malfunction on a Qantas A-330 flying from Singapore to Perth on Oct. 7, 2008 caused the jet to nose-dive twice, leaving 12 passengers and crew seriously injured.
With files from The Associated Press