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Three injured as turbulence rocks flight landing in Japan

Christian Fernsby |
Three people aboard a flight bound for Japan sustained injuries when the plane hit turbulence on its approach to an airport near Tokyo, local media reported Thursday.

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According to Japan's public broadcaster NHK, the transport ministry here said the Italian airline's flight 784 from Rome was approaching Narita International Airport in Chiba Prefecture close to Tokyo, when it was rocked by turbulence at around 10:00 a.m. local time this morning.

According to those on board the Boeing 777, the plane was shaken violently and went into a sharp descent on its approach to the airport.

NHK said a 45-year-old Italian flight attendant struck her head on a metal food cart as a result of the turbulence, and two other cabin attendants fell in the incident and sustained minor injuries.

Officials for the Alitalia flight said the seat-belt signs were on as the plane was descending to land, and the cabin attendants were conducting their final checks before landing when the turbulence hit.

With the exception of the three flight attendants, none of the 256 passengers and crew aboard have reported injuries as a result of the violent turbulence.

NHK said that one of the passengers aboard the flight said the plane went into a steep plunge twice.

The plane diving came just after the captain had announced the plane would begin its descent to land at the airport.

The passenger said that others were screaming when the plane dived, but that overall there was no panic with the screams apparently more out of surprise than fear.

The transport ministry is investigating the incident.

Japan's weather agency has said that it had issued a warning of thunderstorms occurring across wide areas of Japan's Kanto region that could have led to the extreme turbulence.

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