At least 26 hurt as airliner hits turbulence

The diverted airliner sits on the tarmac at Miami International Airport.
Severe turbulence shook a Continental Airlines flight Monday, injuring 26 passengers — four seriously — and forcing the aircraft to divert to Miami, Florida, an airport fire official said.

There were 168 passengers on Flight 128, which was originally headed from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, to Houston, Texas, according to Lt. Elkin Sierra of the Miami-Dade Fire Department. Ambulances and other vehicles were lined up on the runway to treat and transport the injured passengers when the plane landed at Miami International Airport at about 6 a.m. ET. The Boeing 767 hit turbulence about 50 miles north of the Dominican Republic at about 38,000 feet, according to an official with the Federal Aviation Administration. Those injured suffered from a variety of injuries, including bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain, Sierra told CNN’s “American Morning.” “The airline will decide whether or not to leave the uninjured passengers on the aircraft and continue the flight or disembark the entire aircraft,” Sierra said.