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United Airlines pilots never spoke to fliers about severe turbulence, passenger says

Despite hitting turbulence so severe Monday it reportedly sent some passengers crashing into the ceiling, pilots on board the United Airlines flight did not address the situation on the intercom, a passenger told KUSA.

"I thought it was very interesting that the pilot never came on and said anything about what happened," Kerri Mullins told KUSA. "There was nothing."

Other passengers told KTVQ that it appeared the flight crew was just as surprised by the turbulence as the passengers.

"Nobody was really expecting [it], and I do mean nobody," Laurel Grant, a passenger, told the station. "I think the flight crew was probably in the same boat we were."

"I thought, 'Wow! Yeah, this is it'"

- Kerri Mullins, a passenger

Mullins, who was on the United Airlines flight from Denver to Billings, Mont., recalled the "most helpless" feeling when the plane hit severe turbulence for about 25 seconds.

She recalled the plane taking a hard right and starting to plunge. "People that did not have their seat belts on had flown out of their seats and hit the ceiling," she told the station.

"I thought, 'Wow! Yeah, this is it,'" Mullins told KUSA. "It's the most helpless feeling ever to just be sitting there and not having any control over anything."

United Airlines spokesman Luke Punzenberger told The Denver Post that three crew members and two passengers were injured. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor told the Billings Gazette that the captain declared a medical emergency as the Boeing 737 approached Billings. The airline did not immediately respond to an email from 

Gregor says Flight 1676 left Denver International Airport around noon and landed without incident just before 1:30 p.m. at Billings Logan International Airport. 

Punzenberger says one flight attendant remained in the hospital late Monday. He says 114 passengers and five crew members were aboard. American Medical Response and the Billings airport fire department responded.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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