Crew members injured on flight from Brazil

Turbulence causes injuries, fear aboard flight

MIAMI - Passengers said they feared for their lives when strong turbulence struck their Brazil to Miami flight Sunday.

Six crew members aboard American Airlines Flight 980 were injured, according to airline officials.

A passenger told Local 10 that the turbulence occurred two hours into the eight-hour flight from Salvador Receise, Brazil. They said there was a mix of injuries ranging from serious to minor.

One passenger said a service cart flew into the air and landed on someone.

"There's a lot of people screaming, a lot of people crying," passenger Gillas Correa told Local 10's Christina Vazquez. "The turbulence is like I've never seen anything, I mean, like not even a roller coaster."

Correa said the drop in pressure came out of nowhere.

"Everybody just moved up in their seat and some of them just smashed against the ceiling," he said.

Passenger Christianne Menezes said she feared for her life.

"It was a terrible experience," Menezes said. "Terrible, totally scared."

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue was at the gate waiting for the plane when it landed at 6:38 p.m. at gate E-10.

According to airline officials, six injured crew members were taken to area hospitals. Of those, four were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital and one went to Metropolitan Hospital. No passengers were injured.

By Monday morning, only one of the injured crew members remained hospitalized. The woman, a flight attendant, was likely next to the food cart, which flew up, damaged the ceiling, and landed on top of her, according to witnesses.

A Miami International Airport spokeswoman said there were 143 people on board the flight that left Brazil at 12:11 p.m., local time.

The pilot from the affected flight is back in service for American Airlines. The Boeing 757 was inspected and also returned to service.

Follow Local 10 Reporter Christina Vazquez on Twitter @BoomerVazquezTV

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