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Severe turbulence sends fliers across cabin, injuring 20

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Twenty people were injured after “severe turbulence” jolted a South African Airways flight headed from Johannesburg to Hong Kong on Wednesday. The turbulence was so serve that video footage showed at least one hole in the jet’s ceiling panels that apparently was caused by a man’s head after he went flying into the air.

The Airbus A340-600 operating South African Flight SA286 encountered clear air turbulence over Kuala Lumpur around 8:30 a.m. local time before landing safely in Hong Kong at 12:30 p.m. local time. Medical staff were waiting at the Hong Kong airport to tend to passengers on SA286 upon arrival, according to The Associated Press.

VIDEO: South African Airways passengers hurt after turbulence rocks jet (NBC)
IN-DEPTH: Passengers thrown about Hong Kong-bound plane by turbulence (South China Morning Post)

“The pilot radioed our control tower saying it was continuing its journey to Hong Kong rather than diverting into another city and requested medical assistance upon landing,” a Hong Kong Civil Aviation Department spokeswoman says to the South China Morning Post.

Of the injured, 17 were passengers and three were crew. AP says TV footage from Hong Kong “showed rescue workers wheeling one injured passenger on a stretcher. … The Hong Kong fire department said two people were critically injured. The victims were taken to three hospitals.”

 

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