Blood was left on the ceiling and passengers were shaken around like rag dolls after turbulence reportedly hit a plane flying to Bangkok.
Babies were said to be among the 27 people injured, some of whom were left in a “moderately severe” condition aboard the Aeroflot aircraft, which was due to land in the Thai capital after travelling from Moscow.
Fifteen Russians and two Thais were hospitalised. Their ages were not disclosed and their injuries are not believed to be life threatening.
Footage of the event showed passengers lying in the aisles and debris strewn across the plane. Another image showed blood smeared on an overhead compartment.
“Out of nowhere we hit turbulence, that was so bad that it was throwing people around like crazy,” passenger Rostik Rusev wrote on Instagram.
“Blood everywhere, people with broken bones, noses, open fractures, babies with head injuries, I can keep going and going. Thank God we are alive! I really hope Aeroflot will do right by everybody!
“I can honestly say I have never been so scared in my life before.”
However, Mr Rusev also praised the response of the crew, calling them “heroes”.
Another passenger told broadcaster Rossiya 24: "We were hurled up into the roof of the plane, it was practically impossible to hold on. It felt like the shaking wouldn't stop, that we would just crash."
And passenger Evgenia Zibrova wrote online: “Numerous air pockets one hour before landing led to broken bones, internal and external bleeding.
“Babies are covered in bruises, people lost consciousness. Thankful that we are still alive. Aeroflot, please help these people.”
While Aeroflot played down the extent of the injuries, saying no one suffered spinal compression fractures, Russia’s Health Ministry said their conditions were somewhat serious.
"The condition of all victims is assessed by medics as moderately severe, there is no threat to life," ministry spokesman Oleg Salagay, told the Tass news agency.
Aeroflot maintained the pilots were highly experienced and said the injuries occurred after the Boeing 777 flew into “clear-air turbulence”.
“Such turbulence occurs without any clouds, in clear skies with good visibility, and weather radar is unable to alert of its approach,” a statement by the carrier said.
“In such situations, the crew is unable to warn passengers of the need to return to their seats. There are around 750 cases of clear-air turbulence recorded in civil aviation every year.”
Vladimir Sosnov of the Russian embassy in Thailand, said: "Apparently, those who were injured did not have their seat belts fastened."