A United Airlines flight from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport on Monday was rocked by unexpected turbulence that left at least five individuals injured, according to KHOU 11’s John Diaz.
United Flight 128 was en route to Houston Monday morning when it encountered enough turbulence to injure at least two passengers and three crew members. Ambulances were waiting on the runway for the plane’s arrival and five individuals were transported to the hospital, according to Diaz.
United officials did not immediately return a request for comment on Monday morning but offered a statement to Diaz confirming the incident and claiming those injured on the flight are expected to make a full recovery.
“United Flight 128 encountered unexpected turbulence while en route to Houston,” the airline said in a statement, per Diaz. “Upon arrival, two passengers and three crewmembers were met by medical personnel and taken to a local hospital with minor injuries. We’re grateful to our crew for their efforts to ensure the safety of our employees and customers.”
The plane reported turbulence while flying in the vicinity of Cancun, Mexico, according to Diaz. The FAA is investigating the incident and will be filing a report on the occurrence later this week. The turbulent affair follows quickly on the heels of another occurrence in the skies experienced by passengers aboard a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu on Sunday.
Thirty-six passengers aboard the plane were injured and 20 individuals were transported to the emergency room after Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35 experienced severe turbulence prior to landing on Sunday. Eleven individuals were reported in serious condition after the incident, which occurred just after 11 a.m. local time Sunday, according to CNN’s Paul Muntean and Chris Boyette. Among those injured was a 14-month-old child, CNN reports. Images recorded of the plane’s interior showed cracks in the cabin ceiling panels and missing overhead lights that had been jarred loose by the plane’s sudden dive. One passenger told CNN that her mother, who was unbuckled at the time of the turbulence, flew up and hit the ceiling when the turbulence began.
“It felt like free-falling,” Jacie Hayata-Ano told CNN. “I started to look around and there was like lights, people were holding onto lights because it fell into their lap.”
The airline is conducting a “thorough inspection of the aircraft,” according to CNN.