A United Airlines jetliner hit severe turbulence while flying over Kansas, injuring 30 and jolting one woman out of her seat so forcefully that she left a crack when she hit the side of the cabin, authorities and a witness said.
The Tuesday flight was the airline's third this year during which passengers were hurt because of turbulence.
The flight originated at Dulles International Airport near Washington, DC, and was headed to Los Angeles. It was diverted to Denver International Airport, where it landed safely around 7:45 pm and was met by medical crews, Denver Fire Department spokesman Eric Tade said.
Twenty-six passengers and four crew members were injured, Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor in Los Angeles said. He said one person was critically hurt, but he released no further details.
Officials said many of the injured were taken to hospitals with only moderate injuries. Some had been released by late Tuesday or were expected to be released.
"There are mostly walking injuries," Tade told The Denver Post. He said the injuries included bruises, whiplash, strains and sprains.