By Calvin Palmer
Severe turbulence caused a Continental Airlines jet carrying 179 people to make an emergency landing in Miami early this morning.
At least 26 people were injured on Continental Flight 128 from Rio de Janeiro to Houston.
The Boeing 767 diverted to Miami International Airport after it encountered turbulence between Puerto Rico and Grand Turk island, north of the Dominican Republic around 4:30 a.m. It landed safely at the airport an hour later, Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Elkin Sierra said four people were seriously injured and another 22 were in stable condition with bumps and bruises. A total of 13 people were taken to hospitals.
Passenger Fabio Ottolini of Houston said it was about six hours into the flight when he felt the aircraft suddenly drop.
“People didn’t have time to do anything,” he said.
Ottolini said flight attendents were serving items in the aisles when the turbulence hit. He said some flight attendenats were thrown against the roof of the cabin and may have been among those injured.
[Based on a report by the Associated Press.]