July 21, 2010 in Nation/World

Turbulence injures 30 on airplane

Catherine Tsai Associated Press

DENVER – A United Airlines jetliner was diverted to Denver on Tuesday after 30 people on board were injured, one critically, when the plane hit heavy turbulence while flying over Kansas, the Federal Aviation Administration said.

The flight originated in Washington, D.C., and was headed to Los Angeles. It landed safely at Denver International Airport around 7:45 p.m. Tuesday and was met by medical crews.

FAA spokesman Ian Gregor in Los Angeles said 26 passengers and four crew members were injured. He said one person was critically hurt, but he released no further details.

Denver Health spokeswoman Dee Martinez said 21 people were transported to five area hospitals. Most of them had moderate injuries to the head, neck or back.

“There are mostly walking injuries,” Denver Fire Department spokesman Eric Tade told the Denver Post.

United Airlines spokeswoman Megan McCarthy said Flight 967 was carrying 255 passengers and 10 crew members. She said the crew decided to be safe and land the Boeing 777 in Denver to tend to the injured.

Gregor said there was “no obvious damage” to the plane’s exterior, but he said the aircraft was being taken to a hangar for additional inspection.

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