Turbulence Injures Several on United Flight - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Turbulence Injures Several on United Flight

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BILLINGS -

One United Airlines flight attendant remains in the hospital after getting injured in turbulence on a flight from Denver to Billings yesterday.

114 passengers were on the flight and 5 people were hurt.

In a statement, a United Airlines spokesperson says its flight safety specialists are working with the National Transportation Safety Board to analyze the flight data.

Meanwhile, passengers are still in shock. 

Passenger Joe Frank recalls the event, "We hit some crazy turbulence really. It shook us left and right a couple of times and then right after that it dropped us. It happened so fast. It's not like what you'd expect for normal turbulence you feel. You feel your stomach tickle a bit but this one just happened so fast it just threw you. It just threw you up and you just stayed there. You just heard a big boom."

Joe Frank didn't have his seat belt on and when the plane dropped, he flew up out of his seat and hit his head.

He says the turbulence hit over Wyoming, right before the plane began its descent into Billings.

Frank was returning from spending Valentine's Day with his mom in Texas.

He says right after the drop, over the intercom, flight attendants could be heard saying someone was injured and they told people to stay in their seats.

"Right after you hear that, you hear, where is my baby. Some dad a row back and an aisle over from me lost his infant, no older than four months. The guy behind me yells, it's right here. I look behind me and the baby's sitting there, laying there on its back in the empty seat."

Laurel Linde sat towards the front of the plane.

She and her son, Grant, were traveling back to Billings from football camp.

"It was pretty traumatic, very surreal. Everything happened so quickly. We're talking about a five second time frame I would say. There was a man in front of us who literally hit the roof with his head and kind of landed on the other side of the aisle. There was lots of screaming, stuff flying everywhere that was in the front pockets and articles that people had to themselves."

Kevin Ploehn with the Billings Logan Airport says they don't usually see issues like this but flying in extreme winds can cause turbulence.

"Three or four times a month. Someone's having a heart attack, someone can't breathe. It's just a number of things you get when you have that many people flying across the country."

These passengers say they are relieved to be back on the ground.

Laurel Linde said, "just kind of lucky that was the only one that happened. Also, I think it's pretty lucky that more people weren't injured on the plane. So definitely, most important thing when you're on any plane is to keep your seat belt fastened. They're not saying it for the fun of it."

Joe Frank recalled his thoughts during the turbulence, "it just made you think. Wow, it made me grateful. Life is flashing before your eyes. You don't really know what's going to happen so you just sat there and thought for the rest of the flight. I'm probably not the only one thinking wow, you just sit back and look at life different for a little while."

We spoke with both Billings Clinic and St. Vincent Healthcare to get information on the flight attendant still in the hospital. Billings Clinic didn't give us any information and St. Vincent representatives say all media inquiries have to go through United Airlines.

By Katie Chen - KULR

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