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Cathay crew, passengers hospitalized after turbulence

By CNN Staff
February 19, 2014 -- Updated 1241 GMT (2041 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Cathay Pacific flight CX879 from San Francisco to Hong Kong hit by severe turbulence over Japan
  • Two cabin crew and number of passengers injured in the incident, several taken to hospital
  • Follows similar incident on United Airlines flight earlier in week in United States

(CNN) -- Two cabin crew and six passengers were hospitalized after a Cathay Pacific flight hit severe turbulence as it passed over Japan yesterday.

The aircraft, a 747-400 flying as flight CX879 from San Francisco to Hong Kong, flew into turbulence early Tuesday, six hours before it was due to land at Hong Kong International Airport.

"Regrettably, two cabin crew and a number of passengers were injured in the incident," Cathay Pacific said in a statement.

"Those injured were given preliminary treatment during flight. Medical assistance was provided for the injured passengers and cabin crew immediately upon arrival.

"After initial medical examination, two crew and six injured passengers required further examination and treatment at hospitals while one passenger with minor injury was released."

The South China Morning Post reports that one crewmember was seen heading to the hospital in a neck brace and wearing an oxygen mask.

It quotes a passenger as saying: "It was even more intense than sitting on a roller coaster."

Earlier this week, five people were injured when a United Airlines flight hit turbulence.

Last year, a similar incident on a Singapore Airlines flight during meal service was caught on camera and spread around the Internet.

Turbulence is the most common cause of injuries in flight, though severe turbulence, which can force aircraft to deviate in altitude by up to 100 feet, is rare.

The website Airsafe.com claims to have identified six fatalities caused by turbulence.

Cathay added that it's collaborating with the Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department as they investigate this latest incident.

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