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7 treated after Newark-bound flight diverts due to turbulence, FAA to investigate

Seven passengers were hospitalized Friday after a Newark-bound flight from Israel experienced turbulence and high winds.

United Flight 85, headed to Newark, N.J. from Tel Aviv, was diverted to Stewart International Airport in New Windsor, N.Y., Friday due to the dangerous winds, officials said, according to The Associated Press.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said in a statement that the flight was forced to land following “a passenger medical emergency,” which was reported by the crew. The FAA will investigate the incident.

New Windsor EMS Chief Michael Bigg told multiple outlets that seven passengers from the plane went to a local hospital. Bigg also said that passengers complained of nausea, motion sickness and chest pain due to turbulence, according to NBC News.

United Airlines said in an emailed statement to The Hill that Flight 85 landed at Stewart International Airport “after reported high winds at Newark.”

“One passenger deplaned due to a medical incident, and a few other customers were seen by medical personnel for possible motion sickness,” the statement continued. “The flight refueled and continued to Newark.”

No serious injuries were reported, per the AP.

Friday’s United diversion follows a string of recent negative incidents for the airline — including a plane losing a tire during takeoff. The airline said last week that the FAA is increasing its oversight of United Airlines in the wake of those incidents.

Sasha Johnson, United’s vice president of corporate safety, told employees in a memo earlier this month that the “number of safety-related events in recent weeks have rightfully caused us to pause and evaluate whether there is anything we can and should do differently.”

The Hill has reached out to Bigg’s office.

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