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United Airlines Jet Hits Turbulence, Diverted to Ireland; 12 Hurt

At least 12 people injured when plane hits turbulence over Atlantic 0:20

Ten passengers and two crew members aboard a United Airlines flight were taken to hospital after the jet was rocked Wednesday by turbulence so severe that people went flying out their seats.

Flight 880 was traveling from Houston to London when it hit.

"Things flew all over the cabin and kitchen area," Colorado businessman and passenger Gregory Giagnocavo told NBC News.

"One attendant [cracked] the side of her head and was bleeding," the 63-year-old said. "My shoulders are really really hurting from grabbing onto the armrest during those altitude declines."

"People hit the roof and then a few seconds later, a little bit of turbulence and another big sudden drop," added Nikki Hartin Boriack of Giddings, Texas. "By then we were looking around. People were screaming so that was panicking. Everybody else that wasn't screaming, children were crying."

Boriack said she too saw a "flight attendant across from me had a a bloody head."

"I was praying the whole time," she said.

The Boeing 767 was diverted to Shannon, Ireland, due to "a medical situation," according to a spokesman for the airport where it landed.

Image: Map showing Houston and Shannon
A map showing Houston, Texas, and Shannon, Ireland. Google Maps

Ambulances were on the scene when the flight arrived safely at 5:55 a.m. local time (12:55 a.m. ET), officials said.

"Everybody clapped when we landed, everybody was very glad to be on on dry land," said Boriack.

A total of 12 people were taken to University Hospital Limerick, according to the airline.

"All have since been discharged, except for one of our flight attendants," United said in a statement.

In addition to staff, the aircraft was carrying 207 customers.