50 injured after Latam plane ‘dropped out of the sky’

50 injured after Latam plane 'dropped out of the sky'
The flight was making a scheduled stop in New Zealand on its way to Santiago, Chile (Image credit: Markus Mainka/Adobe Stock)

50 passengers and crew were treated for injuries by emergency services at Auckland Airport at around 16:00 local time on Monday after an aircraft “dropped out of the sky”, according to one passenger onboard.

A Latam Airlines flight inbound for Auckland experienced “strong movement”, causing people onboard to be “thrown into the roof of the plane”.

The incident was caused by a “technical problem” with the aircraft. 13 people were taken to hospital and one passenger is in a serious condition, The Guardian reports.

Several ambulances, a major incident support team vehicle, two rapid response vehicles and a number of senior personnel were dispatched to treat the injured.

Priscilla Waller-Subritzky, a passenger onboard the aircraft which departed from Sydney on Monday afternoon local time, told The New Zealand Herald she was watching a film when the aircraft lost altitude and “a number of passengers and crew were thrown into the roof of the plane”.

She added: “I went into fight mode and just started jumping in and helping where I could because the crew were injured so couldn’t help.”

Once the adrenaline wore off, Waller-Subritzky said, she experienced a lot of pain and headed for the emergency department.

Daniel, another passenger onboard, told The Herald: “The plane dipped so dramatically into a nose dive for a couple of seconds and around 30 people hit the ceiling hard.

“None of us knew what had happened until after the flight, I was just trying to keep everyone calm. We never heard any announcement from the captain.”

He added that passengers were screaming and it was hard to tell if there was red wine or blood spilled throughout the plane.

The flight was making a scheduled stop in New Zealand on its way to Santiago, Chile.

A Latam Airlines spokesperson said: “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.

“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.”