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At least 50 injured as Boeing 787 plane ‘drops’ mid-flight

At least 50 injured as Boeing 787 plane 'drops' mid-flight

Passengers thrown from seats, hit roof of plane during sudden turbulence

At least 50 people were injured when a Boeing 787 operated by LATAM Airlines experienced sudden turbulence mid-flight from Sydney to Auckland on Monday. The aircraft, carrying 263 passengers and nine cabin crew members, abruptly dropped, causing chaos inside the cabin.

The incident occurred as the plane was en route to Auckland, where it landed safely despite the unexpected turbulence. According to LATAM Airlines, 10 passengers and three cabin crew members were taken to the hospital for treatment, with one person in serious condition and the rest suffering mild-to-moderate injuries.

Passenger Brian Jokat described the terrifying experience, stating that the plane “dropped unlike anything I’ve ever experienced on any kind of minor turbulence.” People were thrown out of their seats, hitting the roof of the plane and falling down the aisles.

The cause of the sudden drop in altitude is under investigation by New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC). Authorities have seized the cockpit voice recorder and flight data recorder of the aircraft to determine the sequence of events leading up to the incident.

Safety experts emphasize the importance of conducting a thorough investigation into such incidents, as they often involve a combination of factors. Boeing, the manufacturer of the aircraft, has pledged to assist in the investigation.

This incident comes at a challenging time for Boeing, which has faced scrutiny over safety issues with its 737 MAX planes. Shares of the company fell approximately 3% following news of the incident.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner involved in the incident was en route to Santiago via Auckland. LATAM Airlines has announced that a new flight to Chile will depart from Auckland on Tuesday to accommodate affected passengers.

In 2008, a similar incident occurred involving an Airbus 330 operated by Qantas Airways, resulting in injuries to dozens of passengers due to faulty readings from a flight data computer.

The US National Safety Board has not yet released an official statement regarding the incident. However, FAA head Mike Whitaker has stated that the agency will closely monitor the investigation, given that the aircraft was manufactured in the US.

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