Image Source : @EXITHAMSTER/X Austrian Airlines plane badly damaged by hailstorm during flight

Nearly three weeks after a horrific incident on a Singapore Airlines flight which sharply dropped while cruising at its top speed, another airline suffered a similar experience on Sunday. This time, the passengers were safe, but it damaged the aircraft brutally. According to reports, an Austrian Airlines plane was badly damaged by hail when the airborne jet hit a “thunderstorm cell”. 

A storm cell is an air mass that contains up and down drafts, which can cause turbulence when a plane encounters one, CNN reported. Pictures and videos show cockpit windows, exterior coverings, and especially, the nose cone were badly damaged during the hailstorm. The airline confirmed that flight 0S434 was travelling from Palma de Mallorca, Spain, to Vienna. The flight had 173 passengers and crew members on board.

What Austrian Airlines say

“Airbus A320 aircraft was damaged by hail on yesterday’s flight OS434 from Palma de Mallorca to Vienna. The aircraft was caught in a thunderstorm cell on approach to Vienna, which according to the cockpit crew was not visible on the weather radar,” Austrian Airlines said in a statement to CNN Monday.

“According to current information, the two front cockpit windows of the aircraft, the nose of the aircraft [the “radome”] and some panelling were damaged by the hail. It is now being checked for specific damage assessment.”

Passengers recall horrific incident 

The lucky passengers who escaped unhurt recalled the horrific incident and said the hailstorm occurred merely 20 minutes before the flight was about to land.   “I think we were about 20 minutes from landing when we got into a cloud of hail and thunderstorm, and the turbulence started,” Emmeley Oakley, a passenger on the flight, told ABC News. Oakley said that inside the cabin, they could hear the hail as it hit their aircraft. “We could definitely feel the hail coming down on the plane and it was quite loud and super rocky for a minute,” added Oakley. A Mayday call was made due to the damage. 

Singapore Airlines turbulence 

It is worth mentioning earlier last month, a Boeing plane carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew diverted to Bangkok for an emergency landing after the plane was buffeted by turbulence that flung passengers and crew around the cabin, slamming some into the ceiling.  Shaken passengers described scenes of chaos in the minutes after the incident, with the turbulence throwing people upwards and then into the aisle, many left with bleeding and head wounds.

Photographs of the cabin showed gashes in the overhead cabin panels, oxygen masks and panels hanging from the ceiling and luggage strewn around. A passenger said some people’s heads had slammed into lights above the seats and broken the panels. Singapore Airlines said it acknowledged the report and was cooperating fully with the investigation. The airline later said 42 people who were on board the flight were still in Bangkok, including 26 passengers receiving medical treatment in a hospital. Later, an investigation revealed a rapid change in gravitational force and a 54-metre altitude drop caused injuries.

(With inputs from agency)

Also Read: Singapore Airlines SQ321 cruising at 37,000 ft falls to 31,000 ft in 3 mins: What went wrong?

Disclaimer: This report is auto-generated from other news portal services. Realtimeindia holds no responsibility for its content.