5 Flight Attendants Injured During Severe Turbulence

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(Photo credit: MGN Online)

(CNN) — A United Airlines flight returned to Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey on Thursday after severe turbulence injured five flight attendants, authorities said.

The plane hit “severe turbulence” about 45 minutes into the Beijing-bound United Flight 89, said Ron Marsico, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

“The aircraft landed safely in Newark with 189 passengers and 16 crew members on board,” said United spokeswoman Jennifer Dohm. “Five crew members sustained injuries. Our team in Newark is reviewing the event.”

The five flight attendants suffered what appeared to be minor injuries, though one complained of severe back pain, Marsico said. They were taken to local hospitals for evaluation.

The Boeing 777-200 was scheduled to depart the airport about 1 p.m., according to flightaware.com.

Dohm said the airline will accommodate passengers on a flight on Friday morning and offered hotels in Newark for Thursday evening.