Last Modified: Thursday, June 14, 2012 12:16 PM
A flight attendant remained in serious condition at a local hospital on Wednesday, a day after a United Airlines Boeing 737-700 made an emergency landing at Lake Charles Regional Airport.
The airplane was diverted to Lake Charles after three flight attendants were injured when the craft hit turbulence.
A Lake Charles Memorial Hospital spokesman confirmed the status of the flight attendants.
Flight 1632, bound for New York’s LaGuardia Airport from Houston Intercontinental Airport, contained 88 passengers and crew. The Lake Charles airport was notified at 8:26 p.m. that the plane was 20 miles away, eventually touching down at 8:41 p.m.
Three crew members were taken to the hospital when the plan landed, and three passengers were taken after the aircraft was emptied, said Heath Allen, airport executive director.
Matt Felder, hospital spokesman, said five of the six were treated for injuries and released.
Allen said the pilot reported hitting severe turbulence at 22,000 feet over Houston and decided to head toward Lake Charles, the closest commercial airport.
“From what I understand from passengers and talking to the captain, as they were climbing, the flight attendants were up and moving about the cabin, preparing for their regular routine,” Allen said.
“The aircraft dropped, and the flight attendants went up in the air and hit the ceiling of the aircraft, and they were slammed back down to floor.”
Allen said diversions happen fairly often, but not medical emergencies of this magnitude. He said this is the first time in recent history that several people have had to go to the hospital because of turbulence.
Airline spokeswoman Mary Ryan said Wednesday that no one suffered any life-threatening injuries.
“We are conducting a review on what happened inside the aircraft,” she said. “I can’t characterize the extent of the injuries, but the safety of our passengers and our crew is our top priority.”
Allen said two mechanics and additional flight crew were ferried in on a flight bound for Lake Charles.
He said some of the passengers on the diverted flight spent the night in Lake Charles and took an alternate flight Wednesday morning.
Posted By: Rick Forest - Houston, Tx. On: 6/14/2012
Title: Welcome to Lake Charles
I hope that passengers and crew were given free passes and spending money to the casino's and also perhaps dinner and a fine eating establishment in my dear old hometown.