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At least three aboard L.A.-bound flight injured after severe turbulence hits; plane is diverted to Montreal

May 25, 2010 |  1:12 pm
At least three people aboard a United Airlines flight on Tuesday were injured when the plane encountered severe turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean during a trip from London to Los Angeles, airline officials said.

Flight 935, carrying 196 passengers and 15 crew members, took off from Heathrow Airport about 10 a.m. London time and was diverted to Canada's Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, where it landed about noon Eastern time. It was scheduled to arrive in Los Angeles about 1:15 p.m. Pacific time.

United officials said medical attention was provided to a crew member and two passengers, whose injuries were not life-threatening. The airliner was taken out of service for inspection. A replacement is being brought in from Chicago to take the remaining passengers to Los Angeles.

Laura Desdorides of Los Angeles, a former flight attendant who was on the plane, said the turbulence hit suddenly while the seat-belt sign was off and crew members and passengers walked around the cabin. She said a number of people were shaken up and it looked like one person suffered leg injuries while another had chest injuries.

"We lost altitude quickly. It was very, very scary," Desdorides said. "Those who were out of their seats had it rough."

-- Dan Weikel