Severe turbulence causes injuries aboard Denver to Billings flight

DENVER - Severe turbulence hit a Monday flight from Denver to Billings, causing a medical emergency on board.

United Airlines confirms that the severe turbulence was encountered as flight 1676, a Boeing 737-700, descended into Montana. Of the 119 people aboard, three crew members and a number of passengers were injured.

"The captain of United Flight 1676, a Boeing 737 from Denver to Billings, declared a medical emergency after a flight attendant was injured by turbulence. The plane landed in Billings without incident. Please contact the airline for additional information," wrote FAA spokesman Ian Gregor in an email to 7NEWS reporter Marc Stewart.

"Our primary focus is assisting our employees and passengers who were injured, and our flight safety team will review what happened," said United spokeswoman Christen David.

"There was a lot of screaming and a lot of hollering and things like that going on," said passenger Bill Dahlin.

Dahlin says the turbulence was so rough a woman hit the ceiling and cracked the panel above her head.

He said another woman was calling out for her baby.

The crew safely landed the airliner after declaring a medical emergency.

"I think they were somewhat panicked. I think they were trying to assess things themselves," said Dahlin.

Department of Transportation statistics reveal approximately 58 passengers are injured every year while not wearing their seatbelts in flight.

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