Severe Turbulence’ Causes Southwest Pilot to Land Jet Early

A Southwest passenger jet flying from Chicago to Texas was forced to land in Missouri Wednesday after encountering “severe turbulence” at 38,000 feet, the airline and FAA said.

There were no injuries to any of the passenger or crew, a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said in a statement.

Flight 1265 was flying from Chicago to Austin, Texas, and landed at Kansas City, Missouri “out of an abundance of caution” on the part of the flight crew, the airline said.

A passenger on the plane described the anxious atmosphere, and said a few people screamed during the turbulence. "I was literally out of my seat for a few seconds as the plane was stabilizing," The passenger, Nick Dunbar, told NBC Chicago.

"Safety is always our top priority at Southwest, and we appreciate the patience of our customers as we work diligently to get them on their way," Southwest spokesman Brian Parrish said in a statement.

The FAA said the plane was a Boeing 737. The plane later took off from Kansas City and landed in Austin, according to the airline.

A large section of the Midwest faced the potential for storms Wednesday as a cold front pushes east, the Weather Channel reported. Much of Illinois south of Chicago was under severe thunderstorm watches or warnings Wednesday, according to the National Weather Service.