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Severe Turbulence On United Flight Sends Five To Hospital

Severe Turbulence On United Flight Sends Five To Hospital
Severe turbulence during a United Airlines flight sent three flight attendents and two passengers to the hospital Monday.

United Airlines flight 1676 left Denver, Colorado, and headed to Billings, Montana around noon on Monday with 114 passengers and five crew members on board. Then, something went wrong. (Via Google Earth)

"There was blood ... A lot of yelling, a lot of screaming. It only lasted probably about 30 seconds. ... It's the most helpless feeling ever." (Via WRC-TV)

According to the Denver Post, the initial drop the plane took was so forceful, "an infant flew from a parent's arms." The baby fortunately landed in a nearby chair and was unharmed.

And one man told a Montana station, he saw a woman hit a ceiling panel so hard it cracked. (Via KTVQ)

Apparently, it was a smooth ride right until the descent. One passenger says the flight crew seemed just as surprised as the passengers about the intense turbulence. (Via ABC)

"They didn't really offer any explanation because of what happened so quickly. I think they were just holding their tongues, basically, to figure out what happened." (Via CNN)

United Airlines released a statement that said in part, "Our primary focus is assisting our employees and passengers who were injured, and our flight safety team will review what happened."

According to United Airlines, all those injured have been released from the hospital except for one flight attendant.

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marwha February 18 2014 at 9:41 AM

Never fly without your seatbelt on.... you never know ....

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cspnyc3 February 18 2014 at 10:50 AM

Another reason to ALWAYS keep your safety belts fastened !!!

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Don February 18 2014 at 10:31 AM

No mention of the flight conditions, but CLEAR AIR TURBULENCE is impossible to predict. Another reason why passengers should always secure their seat belts while seated. The flight attendents
are always at risk while serving the passengers. Babies should be in car seats, not parent's laps, unsecured, during flight. These are a few of the things I learned during my forty one year career of flying.

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2 replies
islanddharma Don February 18 2014 at 10:58 AM

I, along with many others, fought to allow car seats on board planes in the 80's for this very reason, and do not understand why a parent would continue to feel it's appropriate to hold a child on their lap for any reason other than stupidity or trying to save a buck. Sure, lugging a car seat around is a pain, but over and over again I see parents bring them to the gate then check them.

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kstarr10 Don February 18 2014 at 11:44 AM

i agree :)

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JC February 18 2014 at 10:18 AM

There's a good reason they tell passengers to keep their seat belts fastened. Good thing more people weren't hurt.

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Nipper February 18 2014 at 11:15 AM

Thats why you leave your seat belt on at all times, except when you visit the bathroom. Period.

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1 reply
ptmkapsovar Nipper February 18 2014 at 11:27 AM

I didn't know Airlines had "INFANT" seat belts - PERIOD!

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2 replies
mytmet ptmkapsovar February 18 2014 at 11:36 AM

This is why they shouldn't actually allow infants to fly on parents laps. They should have their own seat where they can use their car seat.

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user406324 ptmkapsovar February 18 2014 at 11:40 AM

If in a car a child not in a belted kids seat the driver would be ticketed and possibly cited for child endangerment. How our government has allowed lap riding children in a device going at least 3 times faster than a car is a mystery to me. Even the airline unions (stewardess/steward) have fought for these children to be made belted. Your comment is ignorant and inane.....

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doxyland February 18 2014 at 11:11 AM

This is why you always keep your seat belt fastened and don't wander around the cabin because you're bored. Also, infants have to be in rear-facing car seats in an auto ... yet are unrestrained in an airplane? Ridiculous.

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1 reply
charlstern doxyland February 18 2014 at 11:54 AM

doxyland - Evidently you never took a flight from the U.S. to the Middle East, which is at least a 14-hour flight. To Israel, one will see a group of orthodox Jewish men facing east, when the sun finally rises, to pray together at one of the doors on the side of the plane. I asked one of the Israeli flight attendants why this group of men were standing together in a group at one of the side doors, and she responded sarcastically, "They're praying to Jesus." That was supposed to be a joke between two secular Jews. A flight from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to Moscow, Russia is 18 hours. You try sitting for that amount of time with your seat belt fastened. Are you kidding? Yes, there is turbulance, but that's what the empty seats are for. Also the other passengers are supposed to grab a hold of you, if you are walking in the isles as the plane begins to drop and rock. You must be talking about domestic American flights with American passengers. Going from Israel to France, women bonded quickly to help each other out during the flight. The Israelis, French, Germans, Russians all quickly bond in the plane to help each other out as they first enter the plane and are seated. Flying from Europe to the U.S., I ended up helping people from my grandfather's homeland of Hungary. I didn't speak Hungarian, but I did speak French, so I was able to help guide these persons through JFK. Usually the flight is as good as the pilots. In the U.S., anything goes, because of the very high and unprecedented amount of corruption, which now exists in this country. Just look at our health care system, where the concept of physician-healer has been corrupted into physician-profit maker. Our entire medical biology enterprise has also been severely corrupted, where pharmaceutical corporations determine what drugs we can have, where the price of the drug is optimized at our disadvantage. That's why during the 1980s, hundreds of thousands of Americans died of AIDS in the U.S., while the necessary therapies were available right across the border in Mexico, Israel, Germany, Austria, and France among many other countries with the exception of the United States. Don't be blinded by self-righteous pride as a patriotic American, so blinded as to allow such severe forms of corruption and malfeasance to become a normative phenomenon. One should be able to move around in the airplane unless an over worked, exhausted, underpaid pilot or two are flying for hours on end without any sleep or significant rest. The corporations treat these pilots like endentured slaves (beasts of burden). I would instead fly on El Al, British Airways, or Luftansa. Because of the present-day corruption in the U.S., specifically involving American corporations, I would strongly suggest boycotting these American airlines, because they treat their employees like beasts of burden (which puts your life and the lives of others at enormous risk). The Americans think people are sardines.

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d1anaw February 18 2014 at 10:07 AM

I thought they did away with allowing babies to be carried and required them to be in carseats in a seat. Doing so would have prevented a potential disaster. Turbulence can happen at any time, anywhere without warning.

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heemancruiser February 18 2014 at 10:05 AM

I have never experienced severe turbulance but it must be very frightening.

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1 reply
gramargo heemancruiser February 18 2014 at 4:40 PM

Years ago I was going to Los Angeles from the east and was watching the scenery below. I realized we were circling over Jerome, AZ, when the captain said there was a storm line ahead and we were waiting to be vectored through it, and to expect some turbulence. It got very dark and I could hear hail hitting the overhead, and there was some bouncing, but soon we popped out into bright sunlight and could see water rushing down gullies below. Not fun but interesting experience. I've also gone through some clear air turbulence, and yes, it's impossible to see it coming as a rule, as it's usually a quick, short occurence.

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sheila.keith February 18 2014 at 11:00 AM

What can you do. It happens and that is why passengers should always have their seat belts on if not going to the bathroom.

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desmondmiddle February 18 2014 at 11:17 AM

Flying from miami to panama city we encountered the most severe turbulence i have ever felt and i am a good flyer, never fearful. we were in a relativly small 4 little jet engine plane, yes small, but we were all over the sky. When we landed the captain said we flew through a bad storm where tornados were spotted. I would suggest to always have your seatbelt buckeled.

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