Severe Turbulence Rocks Southwest Flight, Injuring Passengers and Crew

The injured passenger and flight attendant were taken to a nearby hospital

A Southwest Airlines flight (SW4273) from New Orleans to Orlando encountered severe turbulence on Wednesday, forcing an emergency landing in Tampa, Florida. Two people, a passenger and a flight attendant, were injured according to Tampa International Airport.

“The Captain declared an emergency, a requirement to deviate from a filed flight plan, and also requested that paramedics be available when the aircraft arrived to assess any potential injury,” the statement said.

The injured passenger and flight attendant were taken to a nearby hospital. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) is investigating the incident.

CNN Weather reported storms that brought severe severe weather from the Ohio Valley to the Deep South on Tuesday were draped over the Gulf of Mexico this morning, causing strong thunderstorms in the area.

Turbulence refers to the abrupt change in airflow, resulting in erratic movements within the atmosphere that generate air currents capable of unsettling passengers on an aircraft. In severe cases, turbulence can even disrupt the control of the airplane.

Southwest Airlines reported that passengers arrived in Orlando four-and-a-half hours later than scheduled, Fox Weather reported. 

“With our apologies for their delayed journey, there is no priority higher than the safest operation of every flight,” the airline said.

Once the aircraft was on the ground, it was looked over by mechanics, according to Southwest.