Southwest New Orleans flight to Orlando makes emergency landing, two injured

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) — Flight communications between a Southwest Airlines cockpit crew and air traffic controllers reveals the seriousness of the injuries to a passenger and a flight attendant that occurred during turbulence on Wednesday, April 3.

According to Southwest Airlines officials, Southwest Airlines Flight 4273 departed from New Orleans Wednesday morning, bound for Orlando. But severe turbulence led the plane’s captain to declare an emergency and request permission to divert the flight to Tampa.

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In a statement from Southwest Airlines, the captain “also requested that paramedics be available when the aircraft arrived” at Tampa International Airport.

In flight communications obtained by ABC news, an unidentified speaker can be heard describing the injuries to the flight attendant as “a possible broken elbow and a possible broken hip.” A 63-year-old passenger is described as having “a possible back injury.”

Both were taken to a Tampa Bay area hospital. Southwest officials said that the airline’s mechanics “reviewed the aircraft” after it landed, and passengers arrived in Orlando after a four-and-a-half-hour delay.

“With our apologies for their delayed journey,” read the statement, “there is no priority higher than the safest operation of every flight.”

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