Severe turbulence on flight to Memphis injures flight attendants

Severe turbulence on flight to Memphis injures flight attendants
Published: Mar. 30, 2016 at 9:24 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 31, 2016 at 2:49 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - An American Airlines flight headed to Memphis was diverted to Little Rock, Arkansas.

American Eagle Flight 3358 was headed from the Dallas-Fort Worth airport to Memphis when it had to make an emergency landing in Little Rock, Arkansas because of turbulence.

"The pilot opens his door up and you could see the pain in his face," passenger Don Paul said.

Two flight attendants were taken to a hospital in Little Rock with minor injuries. The remaining passengers were put on another flight.

Paul said it happened about two-thirds of the way between Dallas and Memphis.

One passenger tweeted a photo of coffee and other items that spilled on him after a beverage cart flew up into the cabin before dropping back down on a flight attendant.

Paul said calling it turbulence is an understatement.

"This guy behind me, he's saying 'are we going down? Are we going down?' And he goes 'I have kids,'" Paul said. "And it's a husband and wife sitting behind me and I look back and say 'Sir this aircraft is 100 percent safe and everything is fine.'"

Paul admitted that he wasn't so sure of his words, but was relieved the pilots made an emergency landing in Little Rock.

American Airlines issued a statement regarding the incident:

"American Eagle Flight 3358, operated by Envoy Air, from Dallas/Fort Worth to Memphis, Tenn., encountered turbulence and diverted to Little Rock, Ark. The Embraer E175 aircraft landed without incident at 12:02 p.m. CT, and safely taxied to a gate. Two Envoy flight attendants were transported to a local hospital, and no passengers reported any injuries."

A replacement plane was brought in to complete the route. American Airlines said the seat belt sign was illuminated when the flight encountered the turbulence.

It has not been confirmed the turbulence was caused by weather. However, radar shows storms were moving through the area during the time of the turbulence and plane diversion.

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