close 50 injured on Boeing jet from Sydney to Auckland Video

50 injured on Boeing jet from Sydney to Auckland

Fox News’ Alex Hogan on injuries following a ‘technical problem’ on a LATAM Airlines flight.

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New Zealand’s Transport Accident Investigation Commission (TAIC) is seizing the black boxes of a LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner to learn more about the sudden drop that witnesses say “bounced” passengers off the ceiling of the plane, leaving at least 50 people injured.

The flight was traveling from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday when LATAM Airlines said the plane experienced “a technical event during the flight which caused a strong movement.” 

TAIC said on Tuesday that it is in the process of gathering evidence, including the cockpit voice recorder and flight data, commonly known as the black boxes, to learn more about the flight’s trajectory and communication between pilots around the time of the incident, Reuters reported.

A passenger aboard the flight described people being tossed out of their seats during the incident.


paramedic walks onboard

A passenger appeared to have a bloody mark on his head as a paramedic walks onboard the flight after it landed in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday. (Brian Adam Jokat/via Reuters)

“The plane, unannounced, just dropped. I mean it dropped unlike anything I’ve ever experienced on any kind of minor turbulence, and people were thrown out of their seats, hit the top of the roof of the plane, thrown down the aisles,” Brian Jokat, who was aboard the flight, told Australia’s ABC News.

Jokat shared images that showed the damage to the plane’s ceiling where he said other passengers had hit. Other images showed bruised and bloody passengers.

damage to plane ceiling

Damage to the airplane’s ceiling is seen after witnesses say passengers were thrown from their seats when the plane suddenly dropped midair. (Brian Adam Jokat/via Reuters)

“Some of the roof panels were broken from people being thrown up and knocking through the plastic roof panels in the aisle ways,” Jokat said. “And there was blood coming from several people’s heads.”

Jokat said some passengers weren’t wearing seatbelts when the sudden drop occurred, and described seeing the passenger who’d been sitting next to him “on the roof of the plane.”

passenger injured

A passenger shows his injuries after an incident on a LATAM Airlines Boeing 787, in Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday. (Brian Adam Jokat/via Reuters)

“If you were in your seat, you went straight up to the ceiling and bounced off the roof,” Jokat said. “I just happened to be one of the lucky ones who was strapped in for that incident.”


Passengers were met by paramedics and more than 10 emergency vehicles when the flight touched down in Auckland. About 50 people were treated at the scene for mostly mild injuries, while 13 were hospitalized, an ambulance spokesperson said.

Ambulances leave Auckland International

At least 50 people were injured after what officials described as a “technical event” on a Chilean plane traveling from Sydney, Australia, to Auckland, New Zealand, on Monday. (Dean Purcell/New Zealand Herald via AP)

LATAM is based in Chile. The flight was supposed to continue to Santiago after making the scheduled stopover in Auckland, according to Reuters.

The airline said that it “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.”

LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner

A LATAM Airlines Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner is seen in Santiago, Chile, in March 2019. (Fabrizio Gandolfo/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)


The airline said it was working with officials to support an investigation into the incident, though it was not immediately clear whether it had handed over the black boxes to TAIC.

Fox News’ Greg Norman and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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