17 Chinese nationals hurt as Hong Kong airline hit by turbulence in central Indonesia


Seventeen Chinese nationals were injured on Saturday when a Hong Kong Airlines flight hit severe turbulence over Borneo Island after taking off from Bali Island of Indonesia, officials said.

The incident occurred above Banjarmacin city, the capital of South Kalimantan province, about one hour after the Hong Kong-bound flight HX6704 take off from the Bali international airport, forcing it to return to the airport, said Herni Pramuharjo, spokesman of the transport ministry.

"Twelve people were rushed to a hospital, one of whom got very serious injury. Five others were only treated at the health clinic of the airport. All of them (17 people) are Chinese nationals," he told Xinhua via telephone.

One of the injured is a crew of the airline which carried 204 passengers and 12 crews, Pramuharjo said.

The turbulence incident is the second time involving Airbus 300-200 in Indonesia this week.

On Wednesday, Etihad Airways flight EY74 from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta encountered severe turbulence, 45 minutes prior to landing at the main airport in Jakarta, leaving 31 people wounded with 9 of them taken into hospital, and damaging cabin storage area, according to the spokesman.