Fifty hurt after ‘technical event’ hits Latam Airlines flight, passengers ‘fly around’

Fifty hurt after 'technical event' hits Latam Airlines flight
Fifty hurt after ‘technical event’ hits Latam Airlines flight. Photo Courtesy: ShareAlike 4.0 International/Wikimedia Commons

At least 50 passengers were injured following a ‘technical event’ on a Latam Airlines aircraft while it was travelling from Australia’s Sydney to New Zealand’s Auckland, media reports said.

The injured passengers were treated after they arrived in Auckland.

Emergency medical service provider Hato Hone St John Ambulance told CNN that 12 patients had been sent to hospital.

Affected passengers and cabin crew “received immediate assistance and were evaluated or treated by medical staff at the airport as needed,” according to a statement to CNN by Latam Airlines.

“Flight LA800, operating the Sydney — Auckland route today, had a technical event during the flight which caused a strong movement,” the statement said, which added the plane landed as scheduled in Auckland on Monday.

The statement did not elaborate on the technical event.

A passenger named Brian Jokat  told BBC that people had hit the ceiling with such force “some of the roof panels were broken” while others had been thrown down the aisles after the plane “dropped unlike anything” he had ever experienced before.

“There was blood coming from several people’s heads and people were yelling and screaming and it was chaos,” Jokat said.

Priscilla Waller-Subritzky, who was also travelling in the flight, shared a similar experience and told New Zealand Herald that she was watching a movie when the plane lost altitude and “a number of passengers and crew were thrown into the roof of the plane”.

Another passenger told the New Zealand Herald he had never experienced anything like that in 15 years of flying.

“The plane dipped so dramatically into a nose dive for a couple of seconds and around 30 people hit the ceiling hard,” said Daniel.

A Latam Airlines spokesperson told the newspaper that three cabin crew members had been taken to Middlemore Hospital for medical checks.

The spokesperson said none of them suffered serious injuries.

The carrier was reportedly scheduled to fly from Auckland to Chile’s capital Santiago.

According to reports, the flight has been rescheduled for Tuesday.

Latam Airlines is a Chilean multinational airline based in Santiago and one of the founders of the LATAM Airlines Group, the largest airline holding company in Latin America.