NEW YORK (AFP) - Severe turbulence forced a Beijing-bound United Airlines Boeing 777 to return to Newark on Thursday after five cabin crew sustained injuries shortly after take off, officials said.
Flight 89 departed from the New Jersey airport at 12.40pm (1.40am Singapore time on Friday), according to the airline's website, and had been scheduled to arrive at Beijing Capital International airport at 3pm on Friday.
But Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico told Agence France-Presse (AFP) that UA89 ran into turbulence 45 minutes into the scheduled 14-hour flight.
"There are five flight attendants with minor injuries - bumps and bruises - although one did complain of severe back pain," he told AFP.
The plane returned to Newark and the afflicted flight attendants taken to local hospitals, he said.
According to United's website flight 89 departed at 12.40pm and arrived back at Newark at 3.52pm.