Turbulence injures 3 flight attendants

June 14, 2012 at 12:35 PM
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LAKE CHARLES, La., June 14 (UPI) -- Three flight attendants on a United Airlines flight were injured in heavy turbulence, which forced an emergency landing in Lake Charles, La., witnesses said.

United Airlines Flight 1632 was en route to New York from Houston Tuesday when the aircraft was forced to land at Lake Charles Regional Airport about 8:40 p.m. after turbulence slammed the flight attendants into the ceiling.

As of Wednesday, two flight attendants had been released from the hospital while one remained in serious condition for unspecified injuries, KPLC-TV, Lake Charles, reported.

United Airlines spokeswoman Amy Ryan said two others were treated for unspecified injuries, but she did not say whether they were passengers or crew.

"We were about 30 minutes into the flight and the flight attendants were preparing to serve drinks," passenger Jeff Hornback said. "Right about that time we hit some really severe turbulence and … the flight attendants flew up and hit the ceiling of the plane and immediately were slammed down to the floor of the plane."

The turbulence may have been caused by strong storms moving through the region. The flight was grounded for several hours after the 76 passengers were escorted from the plane. A relief crew arrived, and the flight took off Wednesday afternoon to continue on to New York.

"I heard the pilot and the flight attendant say that they had been flying for 20 or 30 years and had never seen anything like what they had saw today," Hornback said.

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