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DENVER - Federal authorities are investigating severe turbulence aboard a United Airlines flight from Denver Monday that injured multiple passengers and sent five people to the hospital.

The Boeing 737-300 has since been taken out of service.

A spokesman for United said one flight attendant remains hospitalized.

"We are providing her support and a United supervisor is by her side at the hospital," United said in a statement.

The United statement said United flight safety investigators are working with the National Transportation Safety Board in their investigation.

According to aviation expert Greg Feith, the NTSB will be looking closely at flight data to determine the cause of the turbulence on Flight 1676 and whether the conditions could have been foreseen.

The pilots had been traveling through clear weather.

"What the NTSB will want to determine is if there was any kind of weather system in the vicinity of where the flight experienced the turbulence that could have given the crew a heads up," Feith said.

Feith said that light to moderate turbulence on commercial flights are common when traveling through inclement weather. But the clear air turbulence that was severe enough to throw passengers from their seats is often harder to detect.

"Because of the severity of the turbulence and the fact that it resulted in serious injuries, especially to a flight attendant, that becomes a concern," he said.

Feith said these types of investigations help the NTSB find "better ways to predict areas of turbulence."

NTSB investigations typically take six to nine months, said Feith.

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