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Passenger video shows aftermath of severe turbulence

Commentary: A flight from Moscow to Bangkok hits several air pockets. A video posted to YouTube shows how bad it was and serves as a seatbelt reminder.

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The devastation.

Anna Ledovskikh/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

When a pilot tells you that turbulence can strike a plane at any time, it's true.

On Monday, an Aeroflot Boeing 777 flying from Moscow to Bangkok hit air pockets around 40 minutes before landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Video taken by passenger Evgenia Zibrova and posted to YouTube shows the devastation after the air had calmed down. Passengers and debris are strewn about the aisles in a scene reminiscent of a hurricane.

An Aeroflot spokesman told me that 27 passengers were injured, but none seriously.

17 people remains hospitalized.

"The injured suffered multiple fractures," Vladimir Sosnov, deputy head of the Russian Consulate in Thailand, told the UK's Metro.

The airline, however, insists that none had spinal compression fractures, as earlier reports had indicated.

Sosnov added: "Apparently, those who were injured did not have their seat belts fastened."

That may be. It may also be that, given reports that babies were injured, parents were walking them about the cabin, as parents often do.

Rostik Rusev, a passenger on the flight, told CNN that the turbulence lasted 10 seconds. Those 10 seconds, however, caused devastation.

"There was blood on the ceiling, people with broken noses, babies who were hurt, it was horrible," Rusev said. "It came out of nowhere it was like driving a car and a tire suddenly bursts."

Zibrova's video has already been viewed almost 300,000 times. It's a sobering reminder that air travel can never be entirely safe. For all the technical advances in airplane design, nature can still have its way.

First published May 1, 10:17 a.m. PT.
Update, 4:02 p.m.: Adds comment from Aeroflot.

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