AUSTIN (KXAN) — Multiple people were hurt because of turbulence as their plane was diverted to Austin Wednesday night.
Austin-Travis County EMS said it checked out three people who were hurt. Two of them were taken to the emergency room with injuries that are not expected to threaten their lives. The passenger and flight attendant had knee pain and neck pain.
The American Airlines plane operated by Mesa Airlines landed safely and taxied to the gate around 5:50 p.m., and the Austin Fire Department reported it may have been damaged because of the turbulence.
The plane carrying 79 people was traveling from San Luis Potosí International Airport in Mexico to Dallas, but diverted because of turbulence caused by severe weather in the area, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport said. ATC EMS was alerted around 5:18 p.m. and met the plane when it landed.
“We received notification that a diversion was taking place when they were still out a little way and they came in and everyone was in place to respond appropriately,” said Bryce Dubee, the public information specialist for the City of Austin Department of Aviation.
Flight diversions such as this one are very common during severe weather, he added.
“Safety is a top priority in these situations when there is severe weather,” Dubee said. “Airports will work together all the time to reroute flights to divert them to keep planes moving safely.”
The 75 passengers and 4 crew members on American Airlines Flight 5781 have gotten off the plane and will work with the airline to get to their destination. American Airlines said they will receive hotel accommodations for Wednesday night and will make their way to Dallas/Fort Worth on Thursday.