A SpiceJet Boeing 737 aircraft coming from Mumbai to Durgapur airport in West Bengal faced extreme turbulence while descenting on Sunday evening, causing multiple injuries to at least 11 people. Eight of them have been discharged so far, while the rest are still undergoing medical treatment. Following the turbulence, the pilots were able to safely land the plane.

Video footage of the incident showing passengers panicking inside the plane has also gone viral on social media. The seat belts of many passengers tore apart as pilots tried to control the plane. Some even fell from their seats while others toppled backwards. Some passengers were hurt because the luggage fell from overhead bins on them. A woman cabin crew member can be seen in the video calming the worried passengers.

Passengers who experienced this horrific incident mid-air said the plane was going up and down. Despite the extreme turbulence, some escaped unhurt too. Inside the plane, a person can be seen saying "kuch khatre se khali nai hai (it's very dangerous here). Another passenger, who was on the flight, tweeted he's "never travelling in this aircraft".

SpiceJet has said it had made multiple announcements to passengers to remain seated and provided all possible medical assistance. The aviation regulator DGCA has set up a multi-disciplinary team under director (air safety) HN Mishra to probe the incident.

“Eleven passengers travelling on SpiceJet flight SG-945 from Mumbai to Durgapur on May 1, which encountered severe turbulence during descent which unfortunately resulted in injuries to a few passengers, were hospitalised,” a SpiceJet spokesperson tells Fortune India.

The spokesperson said eight of those hospitalised have been discharged so far. “SpiceJet is providing all possible help to the injured,” it says, adding that the seat belt sign was on when the aircraft encountered turbulence.

“Multiple announcements were made by the pilots and the crew instructing passengers to remain seated and keep their seat belts fastened. Due to severe turbulence, injuries were caused to a few passengers. Timely medical assistance was provided upon arrival,” says the company.

The incident happened a few days after the DGCA prohibited 90 SpiceJet pilots from flying Boeing 737 MAX planes after finding shortcomings in their training for this particular aircraft. The aviation regulator also directed the pilots to retrain for flying the 737 MAX before they can be allowed to fly one.

The Boeing 737 MAX had been in the news for all the wrong reasons after two crashes involving the aircraft – Lion Air flight JT610 and Ethiopian Airlines Flight ET302 – within a span of five months claimed 346 lives. Subsequently, the 737 MAX was grounded around the world in March 2019.

The ban was lifted in December 2020 after Boeing rectified the problems that led to the crashes. The 737 MAX was allowed to fly in India in August 2021, and only SpiceJet airline runs a fleet of 737 MAX jets in the country.

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