Terrified passengers and flight crew were hospitalized and a plane cabin was trashed after severe turbulence rocked a flight from Peru to Argentina.
Twenty-three people were injured on Saturday when the Avianca Airlines flight from Lima to Buenos Aires ran into a rough weather patch at 41,000 feet, over the Andes mountain range.
Photographs of the aftermath posted to social media show a crew member with a severe gash on her head and others strapped to their seats wearing neck braces.
In another photo, debris can be seen strewn across the cabin.
In a statement, the airline said 10 people on board flight AV965 were admitted to hospital and released soon after.
A witness told the Mail Online one passenger was thrown from their seat and slammed their head during the turbulence.
But he also questioned how the airline handled the incident after the plane arrived safety at Ezeiza in Buenos Aires.
“Nobody from Avianca was there to meet us when we arrived in Ezeiza to see how we were,” passenger Alejandro Babato said.
“It was a miracle we survived.”
The passenger jet remained grounded for six hours after landing before it departed Buenos Aires for the return flight.
The frightening incident was the second bout of severe turbulence to injure passengers this week.
Yesterday, reports emerged an unspecified number of people on board a Malaysia Airlines flight were treated for injuries after the plane was battered by turbulence between London and Kuala Lumpur.
Photographs showed up-ended meal carts and debris that had been flung across the cabin.
Malaysia Airlines — which has struggled to shake off the stigma of the MH370 and MS17 disasters — said “some passengers” were injured on board.
“Due to a brief moment of severe turbulence some passengers suffered minor injuries,” the airline said in a statement.
“A small number of affected passengers and crew have been treated by medical officers.”
Photos: Yesterday - Avianca A330 which hit severe turbulence, injured 23 onboard & cracked the aircraft interior. pic.twitter.com/upCjFMPDKk— Alex Macheras (@AlexInAir) June 6, 2016
Malaysian state news agency Bernama aired footage of a passenger being taken from the landed plane on a stretcher and wearing a neck brace.
“Malaysia Airlines has assisted the 378 passengers and crew on-board MH1 and sincerely apologizes for any inconvenience caused by this weather event which was entirely beyond our control,” the company also said it its statement.
This week’s incidents are the latest on a growing list of flights that have been jostled by damaging turbulence this year.
Last month, 31 passengers and crew were injured, including broken bones, when turbulence hit a Etihad flight from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta.
In April, photos emerged of a plane cabin resembling a war zone after a particularly bumpy Thai Airways flight from Jakarta to Bangkok.
And in January, passengers on an Air New Zealand Tokyo to Auckland flight had a mid air fright after bad turbulence hit during dinner service, which sent food trays flying across the cabin.
About 25 turbulence-related injuries are reported in Australia each year, however many other cases go unreported, according to the latest data from the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.
Those not wearing seatbelts are the most likely to be affected.
But turbulence is much more likely to cause injuries to passengers and crew in the cabin than damage to the aircraft itself, which is built to withstand it, the bureau said.