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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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mrnaturallyphree February 18 2014 at 1:41 PM

Happened to me on a Greyhound bus in '68.
I am still traumatized by the horror of that moment!
The baby is now 46 and still a pain in the butt.

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1 reply
sacibee mrnaturallyphree February 18 2014 at 2:08 PM

What?

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Jennifer February 18 2014 at 6:07 PM

I've been on a LOT of flights in my young 36 years of age and I will say this: the pilot ALWAYS gets on overhead to advise they're making their descent and they give the weather, usually 5 minutes before landing. They tell everyone to stay seated (in the upright position) with their safety belts securely attached. Then they tell the flight attendends to prepare the cabin for arrival and then to stay seated as well. They then give an ETA for gate arrival as well as advise if they see any forthcoming turbulence.

It sounds to me (please correct me if I'm wrong) that people don't know how to follow simple instructions!? Turbulence does NOT knock your safety belt off to allow you to bump your head on the overhead panel!??!?!?! A descent is just that...a descent! If you're going to be in a plane crash, it'll be while you're; taking off, landing or travelling near mountains. Common sense is to listen to the pilot when they say to KEEP YOUR SAFETY BELTS ON!?

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Captain John February 18 2014 at 11:57 AM

Clear air turbulence (CAT) can happen without warning, hence to frequent reminder to keep one's seat belt fastened.

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macsportsvt February 18 2014 at 6:35 PM

CAT or clear air turbulence is always possible - it's not "something going wrong" as your silly writer implies, it's the skies around us and always possible.

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duey35 February 18 2014 at 11:52 AM

Smooth ride untill the descent. Ummm when the captain lights the seatbelt sign and anounces they are making there descent into Billings I think the people should have their seatbelts on. NOT trying for free fall zero gavity activities.

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Rita February 18 2014 at 11:51 AM

This is the very reason, you should ALWAYS wear your seatbelt - only take it off to go to the restroom. I fly frequently between the US and Europe and people constantly have to walk around. You can exercise your legs without having to walk.

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richardmapesjr February 18 2014 at 6:41 PM

Not that I really want to defend the airlines..... (bad seats, cramped & overcrowded flights, no food of course, but even your lounges aren't what they used to be)......... but turbulence is a natural occurence with flight travel. Unfortunately, this was more severe than most people can expect on a trip. Now if it was due to some mishandling by the crew or problem with the plane, that is a different story......but who knows yet.

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vglass2362 February 18 2014 at 6:50 PM

No one is more professional or selfless than Flight Attendants and my best wishes are with them; I know they did the best they could in a very unexpected situation. A speedy recovery.

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penny31644 February 18 2014 at 7:10 PM

This is why we are asked to keep our seatbelts on at all times!!!!

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rchulse February 18 2014 at 7:10 PM

Keep ;your selt belt on at all times..............

Flag Reply +3 rate up
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