BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — At least eight people are injured after a plane with dozens of passengers was forced to make an emergency landing in Birmingham Wednesday afternoon.
According to the Birmingham Fire and Rescue Service, the plane was headed for Nashville when it experienced severe turbulence and was diverted to Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
A man who was onboard told News 2 he was in the bathroom when the seatbelt light came on.
“It was a roller coaster without a seatbelt. So, I was pretty much floating in air,” said passenger Travis Hamilton. “For 15 to 20 seconds, we kind of bounced up and down, and I hit my head on the top of the ceiling, and I was basically floating in midair for a good five seconds before it leveled out and we cruised into Birmingham because of other injuries on the plane.”
Federal Aviation Administration records show the American Airlines flight departed from Tampa on time and made the emergency landing in Birmingham after having flown for an hour and 42 minutes.
American Airlines released the following statement:
“American Eagle flight 3609 with service from Tampa, Florida (TPA) to Nashville, Tennessee (BNA) diverted to Birmingham, Alabama (BHM) after encountering unexpected turbulence. The Embraer E175 landed without incident at 3:17 p.m. CT and safely taxied to the gate.
Two flight attendants and six passengers were transported to a local hospital for further evaluation.
52 customers, 2 pilots and 2 flight attendants“
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This is a developing story. WKRN News 2 will continue to update this article as new information becomes available.