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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted at 1:28 p.m., Thursday, March 13, 2003

Turbulence injures 10 on flight from Maui

Advertiser Staff and News Services

A United Airlines flight from Maui to San Francisco plunged suddenly early today after hitting turbulence. Ten people were injured, including five flight attendants who were slammed into the jet's ceiling.

Five passengers on Flight 46 suffered minor cuts and bruises, and five flight attendants suffered neck injuries, said Joe Hopkins, a United Airlines spokesman.

They were taken to a nearby hospital, where eight of the injured have been released; two flight attendants are being kept for observation, Hopkins said.

"They were injured, but not real seriously, apparently," Hopkins said.

The flight was carrying 144 passengers and a crew of two pilots and eight flight attendants, Hopkins said.

The seat-belt sign was on when the plane began to shake and then dropped toward the Pacific about an hour southwest of San Francisco, San Francisco International Airport duty manager Dennis Neves said.

"Once you've got a sharp drop like that, everything hits the roof," he said.

When the flight arrived around 4:30 a.m., paramedics treated 10 people at the gate. Neves said he thought the plane was flying close to a storm that was bearing down on San Francisco.

The plane, a Boeing 767-300, was not damaged, Hopkins said.