50 injured after ‘strong movement’ on flight from Sydney to Auckland

Around 12 passengers were taken to hospital after the LATAM Airlines flight

Natalie Wilson
Monday 11 March 2024 09:56 GMT
One passenger is reported to be in a serious condition
One passenger is reported to be in a serious condition (Getty Images)

At least 50 people on a flight from Sydney to Auckland were injured during a mid-air “technical event” on Monday.

According to an ambulance spokesperson for Hato Hone St John, the LATAM Airlines flight LA800 was met by paramedics when it touched down in New Zealand and around 12 passengers were taken to hospital.

One person is reported to be in a serious condition, while dozens of other passengers were assessed and treated at the scene for mild injuries.

LATAM Airlines said in a statement that there was “a technical event during the flight which caused a strong movement”.

An emergency response of seven ambulances, two major incident vehicles and a command unit were present on the tarmac.

A passenger onboard told the NZ Herald that she experienced a “quick little drop” during the flight from Australia.

The Boeing 787-9 flight landed at Auckland Airport as planned at around 3.38pm local time and was scheduled to continue its journey to Santiago, Chile.

“The plane landed at Auckland Airport as scheduled. As a result of the incident, some passengers and cabin crew were affected. They received immediate assistance and were evaluated or treated by medical staff at the airport as needed,” the Chilean airline said.

“LATAM regrets the inconvenience and injury this situation may have caused its passengers, and reiterates its commitment to safety as a priority within the framework of its operational standards.”

It’s not the first time passengers have been injured during a flight in recent months.

In December, severe turbulence on an Emirates flight from Perth, in Western Australia, to Dubai, left at least 14 people with injuries when the plane began shaking violently. Passengers said they “genuinely felt that it was the end” during mid-air panic.

Cabin crew were also hospitalised after a Bonza Aviation flight last November when “unexpected and severe turbulence” caused several mid-air injuries.

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