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28 taken to hospital when plane hits turbulence

Tuesday, March 12th 2019, 3:15 pm - In total, thirty people were injured in the incident.

Thirty people were injured and twenty-eight were taken to the hospital Saturday when a Turkish Airlines flight headed for New York City from Istanbul hit severe turbulence, according to airline officials.

"There was like one or two seconds when it was subtle, but then it really started to pick up," passenger Amir Mehrbakhsh said via the Associated Press.

"A lot of people got lifted up and hit their head either on the ceiling or on the side of the plane, and so there were a lot of injuries pretty quickly."

One flight attendant broke her leg in the incident. None of the injuries were considered life-threatening.

A dozen ambulances were waiting at John F. Kennedy's Terminal 1 when the plane landed.

Turkish Airlines confirmed the reports Sunday, saying the airplane encountered turbulence about 40 minutes before landing.

VIDEO: AIR CANADA PASSENGERS INJURED BY TURBULENCE

WHAT IS TURBULENCE?

Flying is considered one of the safest forms of travel, but sometimes it can be a bumpy ride.

"As a jet flies through the air, it mostly encounters smooth wind flow, which translates into a smooth flight for the crew and passengers," writes Weather Network digital meteorologist Scott Sutherland.

"However, on some flights, the smooth ride is interrupted by periods of shaking, jostling and sometimes stomach-churning rises and falls. These are the effects of turbulence, as the plane flies through pockets of rising, falling and rolling air, typically called eddies.

The severity of the turbulence is based on how big these eddies are, the strength of the wind shear (the differences in wind speed and/or direction between the outside of the eddy and the inside), and how quickly the plane flies through them."

READ MORE: The science behind turbulence

Usually, turbulence amounts to nothing more than a small rattle -- but when it becomes severe, a plane can be lifted or dropped several hundred metres or more.

"Most times, the crew is able to warn passengers about these encounters well in advance, due to weather forecasts, reports from other planes and the knowledge and experience of the flight crew," Sutherland writes.

"However, there are times when the plane can fly into this kind of trouble with little to no warning at all."

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