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Home » Sydney To Auckland LATAM Airlines Incident: Terrifying Moment Flight LA800 Nose-Dives Leaving Up To 50 Passengers Injured When They Were ‘thrown Into Ceiling’

Sydney To Auckland LATAM Airlines Incident: Terrifying Moment Flight LA800 Nose-Dives Leaving Up To 50 Passengers Injured When They Were ‘thrown Into Ceiling’

Passengers and crew on a flight from Sydney to Auckland were thrown into the roof of the plane after a sudden loss of altitude.

Up to 50 people were injured due to the ‘technical problem’ on the Chilean Latam Airlines flight on Monday afternoon, with multiple emergency personnel and vehicles involved in the response. 

Brian Jokat, a passenger on board the Boeing 787-9, said two hours into the three hour flight ‘the plane just dropped out of the sky’ and the man sitting next to him flew up into the air, hit the ceiling with his back, then fell down and hit his head on the armrest. 

‘The plane then started taking a nose dive and I was just thinking “OK this is it, we’re done”,’ he told the Stuff news website. 

Mr Jokat, who is Canadian, said there was no turbulence after the incident and after the flight landed in Auckland, the pilot came to the back of the plane in ‘shock’.

‘I asked “What happened?” and he said ‘My gauges just blanked out, I lost all of my ability to fly the plane”.’

About 50 people have been injured on a Latam Airlines flight from Sydney to Auckland on Monday afternoon, with multiple emergency personnel and vehicles involved in the response. A passenger being treated on the floor of the plane is pictured

Mr Jokat told TV station 1News that the experience ‘was insane – I thought I was dreaming. It was like right out of The Exorcist’.

He said his shoes were sent hurtling ‘four rows back’ and his jacket had ‘flown off the seat’.

‘I had drink spilled all over me but I was perfectly unscathed.

‘I was really, really fortunate but there was a lot of people crying and cut and bruised and in shock all around me.’

Another passenger on the flight, Priscilla Waller-Subritzky, said she was watching a film when the plane suddenly dropped and ‘a number of passengers and crew were thrown into the roof of the plane’.

‘I went into fight mode and just started jumping in and helping where I could because the crew were injured so couldn’t help,’ she told the New Zealand Herald.

Thirteen patients, one of whom was in a serious condition, have been transported to Middlemore Hospital, a St John ambulance spokesperson said. 

‘Our ambulance crews assessed and treated approximately 50 patients, with one patient in a serious condition and the remainder in a moderate to minor condition. 

‘So far, 13 patients have been transported to Middlemore Hospital by ambulance,’ they said in an update issued shortly after 7pm local time.  

Earlier, the spokesperson said ‘We were notified at 3.58pm and are currently on scene with four ambulances, two operations managers, one major incident support team vehicle, one command unit, and two rapid response vehicles.’

A woman who was on the flight LA800 Dreamliner service said she experienced a ‘quick little drop’ during the flight.

‘I used to be a flight attendant and this is the first time I’ve ever… the whole plane just froze,’ she said.

St John ambulance crews treated 24 people at the scene, with eight of those found to be in a moderate condition and 16 in a minor condition. A St John ambulance is pictured at the scene

An Auckland Airport spokesperson said its emergency service team was assisting St John after a request for medical support.

In a statement, Latam Airlines said the flight ‘had a technical problem during the flight which caused a strong movement’, but that the plane landed 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.’

It was the second incident with a plane leaving from Sydney International Airport on Monday. 

Earlier, United Airlines flight 830 to San Francisco was forced to turn around after a mid-air emergency.

The flight path of Latam Airlines’ LA800 Dreamliner service from Sydney to Auckland is pictured

A leak was reportedly detected onboard the Boeing 777-300 plane and it landed back at Sydney at 2.34pm, a little over two-and-a-half hours into its trip.

Firefighters met the plane on the tarmac. 

In a statement to Daily Mail Australia, United Airlines said the plane was diverted to Sydney ‘due to a maintenance issue’.

‘The plane landed safely and passengers deplaned normally at the gate,’ it said.

‘We are providing accommodation overnight for passengers and rebooking them to San Francisco tomorrow.’