The flight, bound for Hong Kong, had to turn back to Bali after 17 passengers were injured when the plane hit severe turbulence. Photo: EPA

17 Chinese passengers hurt as Hong Kong-bound flight hit by air turbulence over Borneo

Passengers travelling from Bali – one of whom was severely injured – were rushed to hospital after plane ran into severe turbulence

Seventeen Chinese nationals were injured, with 12 taken to hospital, yesterday as a Hong Kong Airlines flight departing from Bali, in Indonesia, was hit by severe turbulence.

“Twelve people were rushed to a hospital, one of them with a very serious injury,” said Herni Pramuharjo, spokesman of the Indonesian transport ministry said, according to Xinhua. “Five others were treated at the health clinic in the airport.”

A spokeswoman for Hong Kong Airlines confirmed that 14 passengers and three crew members were injured, but most of them were quickly discharged. Only one passenger, a citizen from the mainland who was severely wounded, was still in hospital yesterday afternoon.

The same spokeswoman told the Sunday Morning Post that the airlines “will offer every feasible assistance” to those injured.

The incident occurred when the aeroplane was flying over Kalimantan, Indonesia’s part of Borneo, about one hour after flight HX6704, bound for Hong Kong, took off from Bali International Airport at 1.50am.

The Airbus A330-200 with 204 passengers and 12 crew returned to Bali about two and a half hours later.


Some 95 passengers were flown to Hong Kong on board a Garuda Indonesia plane yesterday morning while the rest were waiting at the airport, hotels and hospital, the Associated Press reported.

According to the same news agency, most of the injuries were head bruises and there was no damage to the plane.

On Wednesday, 31 passengers and a crew member aboard an Etihad Airways flight were injured when their plane also ran into sudden and severe turbulence about 45 minutes before landing at the Soekarno Hatta International Airport, in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta. Some 22 people were treated by paramedics for minor injuries at the airport clinic and nine were taken to hospital.

Last month, five passengers and one crew member were injured as a Thai Airways flight from Jakarta to Bangkok also hit severe turbulence over Singapore.


According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the national aviation authority of the United States, in-flight turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to airline passengers and flight attendants in non-fatal accidents.