Turbulence forces flight to divert to Charleston
Aug 9, 2011, 3:36 p.m.
CHARLESTON, South Carolina (Reuters) - Severe turbulence on Tuesday prompted an American Airlines pilot to divert a Washington-bound flight carrying 152 passengers to Charleston, South Carolina for safety reasons.
The Boeing 737-800 plane from Miami landed without incident at about 4:30 p.m. local time after encountering turbulence over north Florida, said American Airlines spokesman Ed Martelle.
"The turbulence was severe enough that the pilot's considered opinion was to get the airplane down safely," Martelle said.
He said one passenger and two flight attendants from Flight 734 were taken to a local hospital.
An airport spokeswoman said two ambulances transported six people to local hospitals.
The plane will be out of service until it is checked out and cleared by mechanics, Martelle said.
The airline was aiming to get passengers back on their way to Washington by 7 p.m. local time.
(Reporting and writing by Colleen Jenkins; Additional reporting by Harriet McLeod in Charleston; Editing by Greg McCune)