Severe turbulence injures 23 on Avianca Airbus from Lima to Buenos Aires

Flight attendants sit in neck braces on flight that injured 23.
Twitter/TrafficAirColom

Flight attendants sit in neck braces on flight that injured 23.

Twenty-three people were injured by severe turbulence on a terrifying flight that left cabin crew in neck braces.

The Avianca Airbus was en route from Peru to Argentina when it encountered turbulence over the Andes Mountains on June 4.

Photographs posted to Twitter show two flight attendants in neck braces, one with bloody gashes to the head.

An injured passenger holds tissue to his head.
Twitter/AlexInAir

An injured passenger holds tissue to his head.

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There were 23 injured on board flight AV-965 from Lima to Buenos Aires which landed safely 80 minutes after the incident, The Aviation Herald reported.  However, a statement from the airline said ten people were admitted to hospital and six had since been released.

One witness told the Mail Online that a passenger was thrown out of their seat and slammed their head, breaking a piece of plastic in the plane.

"Nobody from Avianca was there to meet us when we arrived in Ezeiza to see how we were. It was a miracle we survived," passenger Alejandro Babato said.

The aircraft remained on the ground for six hours after the incident and then departed Buenos Aires for the return flight.

The incident occurred the day before a Malaysia Airlines flight from London to Kuala Lumpur experienced severe turbulence, causing minor injuries to some passengers and crew, and throwing meals onto the plane's floor.

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HOW WORRIED SHOULD WE BE ABOUT TURBULENCE?

Turbulence is the bane of many fliers, and more than a few will experience the gut punch of an unexpected altitude dip.

Weather is the main cause of a rough ride, and a rainy season can produce some of the biggest potholes in the sky.

But pilots say fear not the jolts and jostles, they're nothing to planes designed to withstand Mother Nature's tantrums. And, there are usually ways to avoid the weather that causes the most aggressive turbulence, such as flying around thunderstorms or changing elevation.

"Very rarely do we ever encounter severe turbulence, but people think that light turbulence is severe and it scares them," said Palm Beach State College Professor Judy Maxwell, who heads the school's Aeronautical Science Program. "If you hit a bump in the road, you wouldn't be scared. It's kind of the same thing in the air."

THREE MAIN TYPES OF TURBULENCE

* Convective turbulence is caused by thunderstorms formed as the sun heats the land and the warm moist air rises and cools into clouds. When the clouds can't hold any more water, it rains, causing a downdraft of cold air and wind.

* Clear-air turbulence cannot be detected visually and is not associated with clouds. It occurs typically in the high atmosphere with variations of wind in jet streams — currents of air in the Earth's atmosphere caused by the planet's rotation and heating by the sun.

* Mechanical or mountain turbulence happens when wind encounters tall obstructions, such as mountains, trees or buildings that disrupt its smooth flow. The disrupted air can form eddies on the other side of the obstruction that will jostle the plane.

 - Stuff

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