Severe turbulence injures 8 United passengers, sends 1 to hospital

Oct. 21, 2013 at 9:54 AM ET

Video: United Airlines representatives are reviewing the safety protocol of the overnight flight from New Jersey to Dublin. Eight passengers were injured, including one who was sent to the hospital after the plane hit severe turbulence during its descent. Officials claim the seatbelt sign was illuminated at the time.

One passenger was taken to the hospital and seven others sustained minor injuries Sunday after a United Airlines flight from Newark to Dublin encountered severe turbulence, the airline said.

United flight 23, a Boeing 757 carrying 129 passengers and 8 crew, landed safely and was met by emergency services and United staff. The passenger taken to hospital was released within a few hours. The seven other injured passengers were treated by medical personnel and released.

The trouble began after the flight began its descent.

"We hit a pretty bad downdraft and we have some passengers hurt so we need some ambulances to meet the flight," the pilot said to air traffic control after encountering the rough air, according to air traffic control audio. 

Later, the co-pilot added, "It might be as many as six or seven people so might need a couple of ambulances."

United said the fasten seat belt sign was illuminated at the time.

"Safety of our passengers and crew is our highest priority, and we are conducting a review," said United in a press statement.