October 3, 2008

Turbulence Causes Taiwan Plane to Lose Control in Thai Airspace Before Landing, 21 Injured

Turbulence causes Taiwan plane to lose control in Thai airspace before landing, 21 injured

BANGKOK, Oct. 2 (Xinhua) -- A China Airlines passenger plane lost control and experienced a steep drop over Thai airspace when approaching Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport Thursday noon, injuring 21 people on board.

The CI641 jetliner heading for Bangkok, a 10-year-old Boeing 747- 400 passenger aircraft which belongs to Taiwan's major carrier China Airlines, had departed from Hong Kong at 10:50 a.m. (0350GMT) with 147 passengers and 18 crew members aboard.

The incidence occurred about 20 minutes before its landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport. It finally managed to the land safely at 1:23 p.m. (0623GMT) at the airport.

The China Airlines company issued a statement later that the accident was caused by severe air turbulence.

Earlier Thai media reported there are over 30 injured, but the airliner's statement said about 21 people were injured, including five crew members and 16 passengers, who have been sent to hospitals in nearby hospitals on the outskirts of Bangkok for treatment immediately after the plane landed.

Nine injured passengers were from mainland China, two of them among the three severely injured. Some suffered bleeding in head.

The China Airlines company said as soon as the flight arrived in Bangkok, the aircraft underwent thorough turbulence inspection. It will fly back Taipei as soon as the inspection is completed. The company said the aircraft is unharmed.

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