Three injured in severe turbulence during United flight

Three crewmembers and an undisclosed number of passengers were hurt Monday morning when a United Airlines flight from Denver to Billings, Mont., hit severe turbulence, United said in a statement.

Flight 1676 that left Denver at 11:57 a.m. Monday had 114 passengers and five crewmembers aboard when the Boeing 737-700 aircraft ran into the turbulence.

"Our primary focus is assisting our employees and passengers who were injured, and our flight safety team will review what happened," read the statement from the Chicago-based airline.

The turbulence happened upon descent and the plane landed at Billings Logan International Airport at 1:23 p.m., KUSA-TV reports.

Passengers told KTVQ that the scene inside the plane was dramatic.

The plane dropped sharply and without warning from the crew as it headed toward Billings, passenger Bill Dahlin told the news organization. The crew appeared to be surprised, too, Dahlin said.

"I think they were somewhat panicked," Dahlin told KTVQ. "I think they were trying to assess things themselves so they really didn't offer any explanation because of what happened so quickly."

One woman hit the ceiling to hard that the panel above her cracked and another woman cried out for her baby, said Dahlin, who was uninjured.

"I have flown a lot and I do know you run into things like this," he told KTVQ. "This happened to be a lot rougher than what I'm accustomed to."

One crewmember was bleeding from the head and unconscious, a passenger told Fox 31 in Denver.

Denver International Airport is one of United's nine domestic hubs. The airline serves 368 airports and has 88,087 employees, according to its corporate fact sheet.


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