The airline said two crew members and six passengers were taken to hospital after the jet landed in Hong Kong last evening. Another passenger who sustained an injury didn't require hospitalisation.
The 747-400, which departed from San Francisco, was carrying 321 passengers and a crew of 21. It encountered the turbulence near Hokkaido around noon Hong Kong time yesterday. Cable News television showed one passenger being taken away in a stretcher.
A passenger surnamed Wu told local TV news channels he felt like he was a on a roller coaster during the turbulence, which lasted two minutes. He said some passengers were thrown out of their seats and hit the overhead bins.