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Passengers Injured on Flight

POSTED: Monday, August 3, 2009 - 4:06pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, March 17, 2010 - 11:04am

MIAMI (AP) - One passenger says nobody had enough time to do anything. Another says she just grabbed the hand of the person next to her "and held on."

They were describing what happened aboard Continental Flight 128 as it suddenly lost altitude after hitting severe turbulence during an overnight flight from Brazil to Texas. The episode forced an emergency landing in Miami.

At least 26 people from among the 179 passengers and crew on board were injured, four of them seriously. Fourteen people were taken to hospitals.

Fabio Ottolini of Houston says the aircraft suddenly dropped, about six hours into its flight from Rio de Jeneiro to Houston. Carolina Portella, who was heading to the United States to attend college in San Francisco, says the oxygen masks popped out after the plane hit a little turbulence and then suddenly dropped severely.

Officials at Miami International Airport say some passengers were able to get on other Continental flights about midday to continue their trip to Houston.

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