Passengers, Flight Attendants Injured When Plane Hits ‘Severe Turbulence’
BILLINGS, Mont. (CBS) – Three flight attendants and two passengers were taken to the hospital on Monday afternoon after things got bumpy on a a United Airlines flight that left from Denver International Airport.
Flight 1676 was bound for Billings Logan International Airport in Montana and had begun its descent when it hit what airline officials described as “severe turbulence.”
“Three crew members and a number of passengers were injured. Our primary focus is assisting our employees and passengers who were injured, and our flight safety team will review what happened,” United official wrote in a statement. They later revealed that two passengers had been taken to the hospital.
“I felt the plane kind of bank to the right a little bit, and then it felt like we got hit from the bottom,” said passenger Grant Linde.
Linde and his mother Laurel were traveling home from football camp.
“I was scared. It was really scary for me,” he said.
The captain declared a medical emergency and the crew was shocked when the plane apparently dropped suddenly.
Another passenger on the flight told CBS station KTVQ in Billings people were screaming inside the plane.
“I think (the crew) were somewhat panicked,” Bill Dahlin told KTVQ. “I think they were trying to assess things themselves. They really didn’t offer any explanation because of what happened so quickly.”
Dahlin, who wasn’t hurt, said one passenger’s head hit the ceiling above her and cracked it. Linde also saw someone who slammed into the ceiling.
“There was a guy in front of me, actually, who lifted up and hit the ceiling of the plane and came down on the other side of the aisle,” Linde said.
“Nobody was really expecting (it), and I do mean nobody,” said Linde’s mother Laurel. “I think the flight crew was in the same boat we were.”
At least two passengers said that a baby flew out of its parent’s arms when the plane dropped, but that the infant didn’t end up getting hurt.
An airport official said Flight 1676 departed from DIA at noon and arrived in Billings about 90 minutes later. The plane was greeted by the airport’s fire department and other emergency officials. Linde said he saw a lot of passengers being treated by doctors.
A United spokesperson told the Denver Post there were 114 passengers on the plane and that one of the injured flight attendants was still in the hospital late Monday.