A Continental Airlines night flight from Brazil to Texas hit turbulence over the Atlantic ocean that injured 26 people, forcing an emergency landing in Miami early on Monday, officials said.
Four people were seriously injured aboard the Boeing 767 and an additional 22 were in stable condition with bumps and bruises, Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman Elkin Sierra said. A total of 13 people were taken to local hospitals.
Continental Flight 128 was travelling from Rio de Janeiro to Houston with 168 people on board when it was diverted, Miami International Airport spokesman Marc Henderson says.
Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen said the turbulence struck when the plane was about halfway between Puerto Rico and Grand Turk island, north of the Dominican Republic.
The plane reported hitting severe turbulence at 0830 GMT and landed safely an hour later, Bergen said
Houston-based Continental did not immediately respond to multiple messages left for a spokesman.
Rio was also the departure airport for Air France Flight 447 that crashed in the mid-Atlantic more than 900 miles off Brazil's northeastern coast, in thunderstorms on June 1, killing all 228 people on board.