Turbulence injures 12 on American Airlines flight


(CBS News) Tuesday turned into a turbulent day in the skies around the country, as three flights were met by emergency crews immediately upon landing.

In Miami, American Airlines Flight 1780, landed with 12 injured people - five of them were rushed to the hospital. Two of the five people taken to the hospital were crew members on that flight. Passengers with minor injuries were treated at the gate.

One man aboard told CBS News, "I thought we were going to die. It was scary."

The Miami-bound Boeing 757 took off from Aruba just after 3:30 p.m. local time with 185 passengers. About 30 minutes from landing, severe turbulence jolted the aircraft for a full 15 seconds, launching people from their seats and even slamming one woman into the ceiling after she got up to secure her son.

The boy said, "I was in the bathroom...I hit myself in the knee. The bathroom went crazy and I just ran to my seat."

The two other flights were actually diverted off-course. The first, a Delta flight headed from Minneapolis to St. Louis, made an emergency landing in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after it lost one of its engines. All 150 people on board landed safely. Across the country, however, five crew members were taken to the hospital in Philadelphia. US Airways Flight 720 out of Charlotte, N.C., was forced from its destination to Rome, when fumes on board caused several passengers to become nauseous.

None of the injuries sustained in either of the Philadelphia or Miami incidents appear to be life-threatening. American Flight 1780 even arrived on-time at Miami International Airport at 6:00 p.m.

One woman on that flight said, "That's my first experience and I don't want it to happen again. But everything is fine now."

For Terrell Brown's full report, watch the video in the player above.