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United Airlines Flight from Denver to Billings Experiences Turbulence – Passengers Injured

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Anyone who’s ever flown into Denver, Colorado has experienced the jolts that air currents can inflict on a plane. However, the recent injuries aboard a United Airlines flight didn’t occur at the windy Denver airport, but rather on the descent into Billings, Montana. The incident occurred Monday afternoon as United Airlines Flight 1676 was making its descent. The Boeing 737 was carrying a total of 114 passengers and crew members when wind turbulence violently jostled the plane. Five people, two of whom were passengers, were injured.

“There was a lot of screaming, a lot of hollering,” Bill Dahlin told CNN affiliate KTVQ. “I think they were trying to assess things themselves, so they really didn’t offer any explanation because of what happened so quickly.”

The flight’s captain called in for help declaring a medical emergency. While each victim was taken to the hospital, only one was hospitalized. One passenger, Joe Frank, explained how he was in his seat without his safety belt fastened when the plane suddenly dropped hard. Before he knew it, he was out of his seat. He struck his head on the overhead compartment and now complains of back and hip soreness. He recalled seeing one baby get pulled out of its mother’s arms and another woman crack the paneling above her head from the impact.

According to a pilot for British Airways, severe turbulence is very rare and even in those cases it isn’t dangerous. He said in 10,000 hours of flight experience that perhaps only five minutes of it experienced air turbulence. Air turbulence is designated by degrees light, moderate, and severe. A sudden rise or drop of 100 feet is considered light to moderate. However, even severe turbulence isn’t usually dangerous he said. Tell that to the passengers of flight 1676.

On The Web:
United passengers injured by severe turbulence
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/travelnews/10645660/United-passengers-injured-by-severe-turbulence.html

Tomas Carbry possesses a decade of journalism experience and consistently upholds rigorous standards. His focus areas include technology and global issues.