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Turbulence injures passengers on American Airlines flight

By Katia Hetter, CNN
updated 7:29 AM EST, Sun December 21, 2014
  • American Flight 280 was heading from Seoul to Dallas/Fort Worth
  • Turbulence caused injuries and forced the plane to divert
  • The aircraft made an emergency landing in Japan

(CNN) -- An American Airlines plane en route from Seoul, South Korea to Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas diverted to Narita, Japan, Tuesday after several passengers and crew were injured by turbulence during the flight.

American Flight 280 departed Incheon International Airport near Seoul in route to Dallas-Fort Worth when an intense winter storm shook the cabin and caused injuries that forced the aircraft to divert.

Medical personnel have been able to evaluate the 14 passengers and crew members who asked for medical attention, said American spokeswoman Andrea Huguely in statement.

What is turbulence?

"Four passengers and one crew member have been transported to local hospitals for further observation and treatment," she wrote. None of the injuries were life threatening.

The flight will not continue on to Dallas-Fort Worth on Tuesday, Huguely said.

"Passengers have been transported to hotels and will continue their travel to DFW tomorrow (Wednesday)," she wrote. "Our team in Tokyo will continue to provide all necessary support to take care of our passengers and crew."

American Airlines said the plane is a Boeing 777 carrying 240 passengers and a crew of 15.

The Weather Channel reports that an intense winter storm is developing over Japan, with blizzard warnings in northern and western sections of the country.

Turbulence injures passengers on flight

"Note there is a very strong storm, similar to a Nor'easter, just east of Japan which is causing severe turbulence in the region," said Brandon Miller, Senior Meteorologist for CNN International.


CNN's Shawn Nottingham contributed to this report.