MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami-bound flight experienced such severe turbulence Tuesday afternoon it sent five people, including two crew members, to the hospital.
American Airlines spokesperson Matt Miller said Flight 1780 was en route from Aruba to Miami when it began experiencing intense turbulence about a half an hour away from landing. Miller said there was nothing to indicate that the ride would be rough.
Passengers waiting at baggage claim more than an hour after landing were still visibly shaken Tuesday.
“I’ve never felt something like that in the past,” Leandro Silva said. “Basically, with the noise and the bumps, you think that it’s going down.”
Silva’s wife was one of five people transported to the hospital for minor injuries.
Family friends said the turbulence caused her to fly out of her seat.
Her husband said she wasn’t buckled up because she was going to check on her son. Javier Silva, 8, was in the bathroom when, without warning, he said he felt the plane drop.
“When I closed the door, the airplane started jumping around,” Javier Silva said. “I hit myself in the knee. The bathroom went crazy and I just ran to my seat.”
The Silvas were part of a group of 11 friends and relatives returning to South Florida after a summer vacation in Aruba.
Teresa Sotolongo never thought her trip would end that way. She captured home video of the moments in the terminal as medics tend to injured passengers.
“I start to cry and I can’t stop,” Sotolongo said. “A lot of people cry. Woman and kids cry. But everything (is) fine now.”
Even safe on solid ground, some couldn’t shake the thoughts that crossed their minds mid-air.
“Thought we were going to die,” Fabio Diaz said. “It was scary.”