Severe turbulence on American Airlines flight sends 10 to hospital

At least 10 people were hospitalized after an American Airlines flight from Athens to Philadelphia hit turbulence and became a case study in keeping your seatbelts buckled at all times.

“Thirty minutes out, they were giving us our drinks. The flight attendants were in the last couple rows when they said, ‘Fasten your seat belts,’” Ian Smith of South Philadelphia told ABC affiliate WPVI.

Ian Smith of South Philadelphia spoke to WPVI media after the flight and described the terrifying experience.

“Thirty minutes out. They were giving us our drinks. The flight attendants were in the last couple rows when they said ‘fasten your seat belts.’ And then they said for the flight attendants to get to their seats, and they didn’t even have time. It started shaking, then it took a big drop. Babies screaming, people in front of us hitting the ceiling,” Smith said.

American Airlines flight 759 land safely at 3:10 p.m. at Philadelphia International Airport.

There were a total of 299 people onboard the flight – 287 passengers and 12 crew members.

“There was just very slight turbulence for about five seconds and then suddenly it felt like the whole plane was in free fall,” said New York City resident Alex Ehmke.

Passengers say the turbulence lasted for about 15 seconds.

Of the injured, three were passengers and seven were crew members. One flight attendant sustained a dislocated shoulder. Dislocated shoulders are painful and require surgery the majority of the time.

FAA officials say the flight crew reported severe turbulence while flying over the North Atlantic Ocean.

Jessica Huseman, a reporter for ProPublica, was on the flight. After landing she tweeted: “They’d *just* handed out drinks. This plane (that I’m still on) is soaked. Soaked. They’ll be hosing this out for hours.”

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