BUSINESS
12/17/2014 03:35 am ET Updated Dec 17, 2014

Severe Turbulence Diverts American Airlines Flight To Japan; 5 Hospitalized

An American Airlines flight from Seoul to Dallas/Fort Worth was diverted to Tokyo and five people hospitalized on Tuesday after the aircraft experienced severe turbulence over Japan.

AA Flight 280, a Boeing 777-200 carrying 240 passengers and 15 crew members, hit turbulence about 75 minutes into the flight, according to the BBC.

"Without warning whatsoever, the plane just dropped and people started, you know, people were screaming," passenger Marc Stanley, who posted several images to Facebook, told NBC DFW.

He told the station that the turbulence last for nearly an hour, on and off.

"We were eating and all the food just flew up in the air and pretty much bounced off and fell. There were carts all over the place," another passenger told TV Tokyo, according to Reuters.

Four passengers and one crew member were taken to a hospital. The airline said in a statement cited by USA Today that the injuries were not life-threatening.

In addition, several people were reportedly treated for minor injuries at the airport.

Weather.com said the plane traveled through a "rapidly intensifying winter storm" with 200-240mph winds in the jet stream at 35,000 feet.

"The storm system was developing over the flight path of the American Airlines jet, which appeared to be crossing through a section of powerful jet stream winds," the website reported.

That led to the turbulence which ultimately diverted the flight.

The airline said passengers were sent to area hotels for the night and that the flight would resume on Wednesday.

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