A United Airlines flight from Houston to New York’s LaGuardia Airport ran into extreme turbulence as a storm system swept through Texas on Tuesday night and was forced to make an emergency landing in Lake Charles, La.
Jeff Hornback, a passenger from Cypress, told Kens5.com that shortly after takeoff, the scene became "kind of chaotic."
"Several people flew up and hit the ceiling of the plane and then slammed down on the floor," he reportedly said. He added, "I heard both the pilot and a flight attendant say that they had been flying for 20 or 30 years and had never seen anything like what they saw today."
Flight 1632, a Boeing 737 carrying 76 passengers, was 30 minutes into the flight before hitting an air pocket, KTRK.com reported. The plane landed in Lake Charles and was met by responders from the local sheriff’s office, ambulances and members from the Department of Homeland Security, KPLCTV.com reported.
The report said after the turbulence, crew asked if there was a doctor on board and an EMT was able to tend to the injured flight attendants.
A flight attendant remained hospitalized in serious condition Wednesday afternoon. A spokeswoman from the airline told the Kens5.com that five people were injured, including three crew members. No injury was life threatening, the report said.
Heath Allen, the executive director of the Lake Charles Regional Airport, told KPLCTV.com that emergency crews performed a basic triage on board the aircraft once the passengers who were seriously injured were taken from the plane.
The plane eventually left for New York at 2:30 a.m. and arrived safely Wednesday morning.