At least one passenger and two crew members were injured when a Buddha Air aircraft hit turbulence on Friday.
The Kathmandu-bound ATR-72 from Bhairahawa that was carrying 39 passengers and four crew members encountered the problem after 20 minutes of taking off from Bhairahawa airport. It took off from Bhairahawa airport at 7:00am.
Flight Captain Sikhar Dhakal said the plane experienced a sudden change in altitude after it hit an ‘air pocket’. However, the flight was brought under control.
“Such turbulence is normal,” he added.
The injured were admitted to the Kathmandu Medical College, Sinamangal, after the plane landed at the Tribhuvan International Airport.
“Such incidents cannot be forecast and usually happen during pre-monsoon season when weather changes unexpectedly,” Buddha Air managing director Birendra Bahadur Basnet said, adding that a passenger Devendra Dhoju, who suffered minor injuries in the head, got hurt despite being strapped to the seat. “He is a regular flier on Buddha Air and had to be rushed to the hospital after landing in Kathmandu. He received two stitches.”
Apart from Dhoju, two airhostesses – Sharmila Thapa Magar and Anjana Kaspal – suffered bruised knee and elbow. They, however, were not using seat belts, as they were serving the passengers. They were also hospitalised and were discharged within half an hour.
The aircraft was supposed to fly to Kathmandu from Bhairahawa at 4:40pm on Thursday but the flight was cancelled because of bad weather.