29 passengers treated at JFK after flight hits turbulence

In this still image taken from video provided by WNBC-TV News 4 New York, emergency medical personnel tend to an injured passenger from a Turkish Airlines flight at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport, Saturday, March 9, 2019.

At least 29 passengers were being treated Saturday after their flight to Kennedy International Airport from Istanbul encountered severe turbulence, authorities said.

The passengers had minor injuries and were being treated at Terminal 1 at the airport, said Steve Coleman, a spokesman for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. He described the injuries as “bumps and bruises.”

It was not immediately clear whether anyone was taken to a hospital.

The Boeing 777, Turkish Airlines Flight 001, encountered the turbulence shortly before it landed at 5:35 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

The FAA said in a statement that the pilot declared an emergency and reported that several passengers were injured. Several ambulances arrived at the airport. The Fire Department said in a tweet that the injuries were not life-threatening.

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Turkish Airlines did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Turbulence is the leading cause of injuries to passengers and flight attendants, excluding fatal accidents, according to the FAA.

In 2017, 17 passengers and crew members were injured in turbulence, according to the FAA. In 2016, that number was 44. Since 2002 the highest annual number has been 94, in 2009.