11 People Taken to Hospital in Chicago After Major Turbulence Strikes

Eleven people were injured on Star Alliance member EVA Air’s flight BR56 from Taipei to Chicago on Wednesday when about an hour and 20 minutes into flight severe turbulence struck over Japan.

Among the crew reportedly two flight attendants sprained their ankles, other crewmembers sought passengers qualified to provide medical assistance in response to the incident.

Credit: Beijing Youth Daily

Credit: Beijing Youth Daily

While the plane arrived in Chicago on-time, a total of 8 injured flight attendants and 3 passengers were taken to an area hospital. Considering that one flight crew member injury was considered ‘serious’ I”m surprised they didn’t divert.

[The flight] was enroute at FL310 about 180nm east southeast of Fukuoka (Japan) when the aircraft encountered turbulence causing altitude deviations of +375 and -550 feet, the speed over ground varied between 600 and 568 knots. The aircraft stabilized at FL310 and continued to Chicago for a safe landing about 11 hours later.

All passengers onboard “received $435 (£225) ‘consolation money’ for the inconvenience caused by the event.”

How many babies have to be thrown from their mothers’ arms before passengers will wear their seatbelts when seated even when the seat belt sign is off? Of course how many lawsuits will there be before airlines don’t turn off the seat belt sign at all? (Which is why it’s good to know that on US airlines you can generally use the lavatory even when the seat belt sign is on.)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Asian airlines never divert as quickly. Not sure if it’s a cultural thing , a cost thing … either way. It just doesn’t happen

  2. A 777 flies with about a dozen cabin crew, and if eight of them were injured in this event, does that mean this plane went 11 hours with only a handful of FA’s to treat the injured, service the entire plane, calm the terrified passengers, and clean up this tremendous mess? How is that allowed, or wise, or even possible? The FAA or NTSB has a right to look into this incident given the flight terminated in the U.S. I hope somebody somewhere asks why the captain felt it was better to continue the full flight rather than divert or return to Taipei.

  3. God. I bet they still had meal service. Had this been on AA the FA’s would have been too busy emailing their union reps to do anything. Sprained ankles are pretty broad in terms of what they are. I’ve gotta assume the “serious” FA was a broken something that waiting 10 or whatever hours wouldn’t matter much and good on EVA for not over reacting again I’d like to see what United’s CEO would have tweeted if it happened to them. “Thanks to the heroic FA’s 463 lives were saved”

  4. The ‘serious injury’ crew member probably had paramedic or better attention on board. No worse than the typical ’emergency’ room experience, maybe better. From the photo, it didn’t look like a neck injury, or else that may affect their decision.
    The plane had too much fuel to divert in a timely manner.
    $425 credit…wow… Per customer, not just the medical attendants. It may have been cheaper to dump the fuel? Another article points out 21 crew were on board. That leaves about 10 or 11 to service the cabin, which seems manageable once the plane is at cruising altitude.

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