13 Hurt in Airplane Turbulence

Thursday, August 24th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

HOUSTON (AP) — Flight attendants hit the cabin ceiling and food went flying when an American Airlines plane hit clear-air turbulence over the Gulf of Mexico, injuring 13 people.

The Boeing 757 with 60 passengers and eight crew members aboard was en route from Dallas-Fort Worth to Miami when it encountered the rough air Wednesday about 180 miles off the Texas coast, said Dale Morris, a spokesman for the Fort Worth-based airline.

``Water was jumping out of the glass,'' passenger Jack Baire said. ``All of a sudden, there was a major drop of the plane. Then the flight attendants who were serving the food jumped up, flew up, hit the top of the cabin — as did the food. There was food all over the cabin.''

Passengers said the cockpit crew told them the aircraft had plunged about 300 feet.

Flight 304 turned around and headed for Bush Intercontinental Airport in Houston. ``Our captain declared an emergency and made a safe landing,'' Morris said.

Two people, including a flight attendant, suffered head wounds but all other injuries appeared to be ``aches and pains and bruises,'' said Bill Hunter, American's general manager at the airport.