Probe after 30 injured in jet turbulence
Published 22/07/2010 | 05:00
The US government has begun an investigation into how a United Airlines jet hit severe turbulence over Missouri on a cross-country flight, injuring at least 30 people.
One woman was jolted out of her seat so forcefully that she left a crack when she hit the side of the cabin, authorities and a witness said.
The flight was the airline's third this year during which passengers were hurt because of turbulence. It originated at Dulles International Airport near Washington DC and was headed to Los Angeles. It was diverted to Denver International Airport, where it landed safely at around 7.45pm on Tuesday.
Flight 967 was about 145km east-southeast of Kansas City, Missouri, at an altitude of about 10,360 metres when it hit the heavy turbulence. It was carrying 255 passengers and 10 crew.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said they had issued a warning to the aircraft about thunderstorms before it hit the turbulence.
Denver Health medical centre said a total of 21 people were taken to five hospitals, and one was treated at the airport.
Passenger Kaoma Bechaz (19), from Australia, said the turbulence seemed to catch everyone off guard, including the plane's captain. She said a woman behind her hit her head on the wall around the window, putting a crack in it.