MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Five of the six flight crew of an American Airlines jet who were injured when the plane experienced turbulence on its way to Miami have been released from the hospital.
The flight crew of flight 980 from Recife, Brazil to Miami International Airport took the brunt of the injuries as they were moving about the cabin and were caught off guard when the turbulence hit.
“Everything was fine and the next minute the plane just fell, a huge drop,” said Gillas Correa, one of the 143 passengers. “I was watching the movie and heads just dropped out. Everybody was in a seatbelt or not everybody just moved up on their seats and some of them just smashed against the ceiling.”
“It was a terrible experience,” said passenger Charistianne Menezes. “Of course I was sure that I was going to die.”
Passengers said the turbulence hit about 2 hours into the flight to Miami and some aboard the flight started to panic; crying and screaming could be heard throughout the cabin.
“Seems like an air pocket,” recalled Correa. “It was a lot of people screaming, there was a lot of people crying. There was a woman who was sitting a couple rows behind us; she got thrown up in the air and landed in the hallway.”
Correa said one of the worst injured was female flight attendant working near the food cart. He said the cart smashed a giant hole in the ceiling of the plane.
“She hit the ceiling and when she came down the cart hit her,” he said. “The lucky thing is that we had a medical room doctor some ER emergency room doctor.”