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The Nation : 26 Hurt When Jetliner Hits Turbulence

November 12, 1987

A Pan Am jetliner hit heavy turbulence 33,000 feet over the Atlantic but landed safely at Miami International Airport after the pilot radioed that 26 people had been injured, authorities said. The Pan Am A-310 en route from New York to Caracas, Venezuela, ran into turbulence about 500 miles north of Miami, said a Federal Aviation Administration spokesman in Atlanta. The most serious injury aboard Flight 217 appeared to be a hip injury, but most of the injured passengers wanted to go to a hospital for a checkup, officials said. It was not immediately known how many passengers and crew were on board. "We were just getting ready to watch the movie and (the plane) just fell," said passenger John Payton, a member of the U.S. Junior Karate team. "Everybody hit the ceiling, everybody at once. It happened two or three times, and after that it leveled off and they were able to get some medical attention."

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