Passengers seriously injured as SAA flight hits severe turbulence

2014-07-16 08:50

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Hong Kong - Twenty-five people were injured when a passenger jet from South Africa to Hong Kong hit turbulence on Wednesday, police said, with two men seriously hurt and hospitalised in the southern Chinese city.

Latest Update: 18 of 20 injured passengers discharged, pilot called a hero for safe landing

Update - Turbulence-hit SAA flight 'dropped like a stone'

Also see - Baby on board turbulence-hit SAA flight

Also see  - PICS: SAA flight to Hong Kong the 'worst flight ever'

South African Airways spokesperson Tlali Tlali confirmed in a statement that flight SA286, en route from Johannesburg to Hong Kong on 15 July at 17:11 (SA time) experienced severe turbulence injuring some passengers and crew.

"Flight SA286 landed safely in Hong Kong on Wednesday at approximately 06:30 SA time (12:30 Hong Kong time). The crew of the flight immediately requested medical assistance for the passengers, which was arranged and ready on arrival of the aircraft in Hong Kong.

"A  total number of 165 passengers was on board, of whom 25 passengers are known to have sustained injuries and 3 crew members.  The incident occurred whilst  flying over the Kuala Lumpur airspace."

SAA will be providing an update as and when more information becomes available.

Local Hong Kong television images showed ambulances on the tarmac at Hong Kong's airport taking away the injured, who were on a South African Airways jet from Johannesburg which landed at around 12:30. 

Hong Kong airport authorities said they were notified by the plane's captain at 11:00 that they would need help from emergency services when they came into land.

"There was a plane that flew in from South Africa that saw multiple passengers injured when it encountered turbulence," a police spokesperson told AFP.

Twelve men and 13 women were injured, police said, with two men seriously hurt.

Details of their injuries were not immediately known. South African Airways could not immediately comment when contacted by AFP but an online flight tracking system said the plane was a four-engined Airbus A340-300.

Authorities could not confirm the total number of passengers on board.

South African Airways is the country's national carrier and one of the continent's leading airlines.

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