"Free fall": Severe turbulence hurts 9 on KLM 747 from Amsterdam to Hong Kong

Nine people were injured when a KLM flight hit massive turbulence on its way from Amsterdam to Hong Kong on Sunday, according to local news site The Standard. The Boeing 747 went into what passengers describe as a "free fall" about half an hour before landing in the Chinese city, according to the site. Eight people - six passengers and two crew members - were taken to hospital after the plane landed.

The victims are four women and five men between the ages of 31 and 55 years. One sustained a minor head injury and refused to go to hospital afterwards. 

The plane hit the turbulence a short time after the pilot announced that they were set to arrive in Hong Kong within 30 to 40 minutes, one passenger said to The Standard. "For around three seconds, it was like an Abyss Turbo Drop", the passenger said, referring to an amusement park ride in Ocean Park in Hong Kong. "It was just like a free fall." According to her, the passenger sitting next to her was not wearing his seatbelt and hit the ceiling when the plane dropped. 

The flight landed safely at the Hong Kong airport around 30 minutes after hitting the turbulence, around 10:00 a.m. local time. A fleet of ambulances were waiting to take injured passengers and crew to hospitals.

A KLM spokesperson confirmed to Het Parool on Monday morning that eight people were taken to hospital, seven of whom have since been discharged. One passenger was kept overnight for observation.

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