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Three Injured When O’Hare-Bound American Plane Hits Turbulence

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UPDATED: 1/16/2013 – 4:09 p.m.

CHICAGO (CBS) – Three people were injured when an American Airlines plane en route from New Orleans to Chicago hit turbulence Wednesday morning.

The three suffered head injuries, and one person — a 38-year-old woman — was transported to the hospital. The two others refused treatment, according to the Chicago Fire Department.

The flight was American Eagle Flight 3720 from New Orleans. The aircraft was a Bombardier CRJ-700, with 26 passengers and crew of four. It departed New Orleans at 7:27 a.m. and landed at O’Hare at 9:31 a.m.

The plane apparently hit turbulence as it was descending from 31,000 feet to 29,000 en route to O’Hare.

The woman who was hospitalized told her story only to CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot.

Adrienne Jantzen suffered a black eye when she was slammed around the lavatory on the plane as it hit heavy turbulence about 30 minutes before landing.

“I hit the ceiling twice. It was the worst turbulence I’ve ever felt,” she said after she was released from the hospital. “I was thinking, I hope this isn’t going to be a problem.”

She said a flight attendant was also knocked to the floor, because she was standing when the plane hit turbulence.

An airline spokesperson said the plane’s “fasten seatbelts” sign was on when the aircraft hit turbulence, but Jantzen said she doesn’t recall if that light turned on before she got up to use the lavatory. She said there was definitely no turbulence when she left her seat.

“I got my pants back on, and got out the door, and just snapped myself in a seat close to the bathroom,” she said, laughing.

While talking to an air traffic controller, the flight’s pilot explained the turbulence happened after significant drop in wind speed while descending for landing.

Jantzen said the paramedics at the scene and the staff at the hospital took great care of her. She said she had first planned to go on a later flight, but took the earlier one to get home sooner.