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South African plane hits turbulence, 20 injured

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA
Associated Press

JOHANNESBURG Severe turbulence struck a South African Airways plane that was heading to Hong Kong, injuring 20 people before the aircraft landed safely on Wednesday, the airline said.

Medics were waiting at the Hong Kong airport to assist passengers on SA286, which had departed Johannesburg on Tuesday, the airline said in a statement. Television footage showed rescue workers wheeling one injured passenger on a stretcher.

Three crewmembers and 17 passengers were injured, airline spokesman Tlali Tlali said. The Hong Kong fire department said two people were critically injured. The victims were taken to three hospitals.

The airline said 165 passengers were on the Airbus 340-300 when the turbulence hit the aircraft as it flew over Kuala Lumpur, the Malaysian capital.

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