Chilling footage captures passengers wailing in terror and desperately reciting prayers as their plane is rocked by extreme turbulence that left 31 people injured

  • Etihad Airways flight was 45 minutes from landing at Jakarta airport
  • Video footage filmed on board shows passengers with hands up in the air
  • 31 people were injured from turbulence, with nine of them hospitalised  

Terrifying video footage has emerged of passengers on a packed plane praying and wailing as severe turbulence rocked it from side to side.

Thirty-one passengers and a crew member aboard an Etihad Airways flight from Abu Dhabi were injured on Wednesday when their plane suddenly hit turbulence as it prepared to land in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta.

And in a chilling video, people on board are seen with their hands in the air, seemingly praying that they survive the incident around 45 minutes before it landed at Soekarno Hatta International Airport.

Passengers were filmed raising their hands in the air as the plane was rocked by severe turbulence as it came in to land in Jakarta

Passengers were filmed raising their hands in the air as the plane was rocked by severe turbulence as it came in to land in Jakarta

This man appears as though he is joining his hands together in pray as others around him scream in terror

This man appears as though he is joining his hands together in pray as others around him scream in terror

This was the scene in the cabin after the Etihad plane was rocked by severe turbulence that left 31 injured

This was the scene in the cabin after the Etihad plane was rocked by severe turbulence that left 31 injured

Others are seen holding each other as the plane violently shakes in the air. 

Incredible pictures show how the turbulence ruined the cabin. They show food strewn across the galley floor, cracks in the ceiling and panels that have come off their hinges.  

The United Arab Emirates' national airline said flight EY474, which departed from its hub in the Emirati capital, was hit by 'severe and unexpected turbulence'.

The Airbus A330-200 landed safely but nine passengers and a crew member were taken to a local hospital for their injuries, Etihad said. 

Paramedics treated the other 22 at the airport's clinic for minor injuries and they were released, the airline said.

Haerul Anwar, a spokesman for the Jakarta airport, described nine of the injuries as serious. He said officials from the airport and Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee were inspecting the plane.

Indonesian Transportation Ministry spokesman Hemi Pamuraharjo said at least eight Indonesian passengers and a foreign flight attendant on board were hurt, with several suffering broken bones. 

The food and drinks service area were covered with litter and mess following the turbulence

The food and drinks service area were covered with litter and mess following the turbulence

Etihad did not provide details on the severity of the injuries, but said the turbulence was severe enough that it damaged cabin storage bins

Etihad did not provide details on the severity of the injuries, but said the turbulence was severe enough that it damaged cabin storage bins

These two women hold each other as the Etihad Airways plane, that had set out of Abu Dhabi, came in to land in Indonesia

These two women hold each other as the Etihad Airways plane, that had set out of Abu Dhabi, came in to land in Indonesia

HOW DANGEROUS IS TURBULENCE?

Talking about what happens to the aircraft during an episode of turbulence, Patrick Smith, an active airline pilot and author said: 'During turbulence, the pilots are not fighting the controls.

'Planes are designed with what we call positive stability, meaning that when nudged from their original point in space, by their nature they wish to return there.

'The best way of handling rough air is to effectively ride it out, hands-off. (Some autopilots have a turbulence mode that desensitizes the system, to avoid over-controlling.)

'It can be uncomfortable, but the jet is not going to flip upside down.'

'For what it's worth, thinking back over the whole history of modern commercial aviation, I cannot recall a single jetliner crash caused by turbulence, strictly speaking.

'Airplanes are engineered to withstand an extreme amount of stress, and the amount of turbulence required to, for instance, tear off a wing, is far beyond anything you'll ever experience.'

The airline did not provide details on the severity of the injuries, but said the turbulence was severe enough that it damaged cabin storage bins.

Etihad did not immediately answer questions about how many passengers were on board. 

It said the airline's planned Jakarta to Abu Dhabi flight on Wednesday on the same plane had been cancelled and the airline was assisting passengers.

Passengers onboard who spoke to Jakarta-based news website Okezone said oxygen masks tumbled out in the turbulence and passengers, including Muslim pilgrims returning from Saudi Arabia, were hurt.

'It happened when I was performing pray,' passenger Nenden Nurhaini told the website. 'The plane suddenly began to shake so fast.'

Etihad, like its older Gulf rivals Qatar Airways and Dubai-based Emirates, has grown rapidly in recent years primarily by attracting long-haul transit passengers. 

Founded in 2003, it has a good safety record and last year carried 17.6 million passengers. 

It holds stakes in several other airlines, including Air Berlin, Alitalia and Virgin Australia.

The roof of the cabin opened up revealing wires and fittings such was the extent of turbulence

The roof of the cabin opened up revealing wires and fittings such was the extent of turbulence

The oxygen masks dropped down as the plane made its descent
the centre of the cabin ceiling

The oxygen masks dropped down as the plane made its descent, while right, a crack runs down the centre of the cabin ceiling

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