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Monday, July 15, 2024

Severe turbulence injures dozens on Air Europa flight

Blood was smeared across the cabin as passengers who were not wearing seatbelts were thrown from their seats.

On Monday, an Air Europa flight from Spain to Uruguay experienced severe turbulence over the Atlantic, resulting in injuries to at least 30 passengers. The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, en route from Madrid to Montevideo, encountered the turbulence in the early morning hours, leading to chaos and panic among the 325 passengers on board.

Terrifying Moments Captured on Video

Dramatic footage shared on social media captured the chaotic scene inside the cabin. In one video, a passenger is seen being flung into an overhead luggage compartment, with only their legs protruding as fellow passengers helped them down. The turbulence also caused significant damage to the aircraft’s interior, with cabin panels torn from the ceiling and oxygen masks dangling above the seats.

Read More: Hailstorm damages cockpit, nose of Austrian Airlines flight mid-air

Injuries and Emergency Landing

The turbulence, described by passengers as a sudden and violent drop, resulted in a variety of injuries. Blood was smeared across the cabin as passengers who were not wearing seatbelts were thrown from their seats. A particularly heart-wrenching incident involved Dr. Cecília Lagucci, a Bolivian national, who described finding her two-year-old son trapped in the ceiling after being ejected from his seat.

Response and Medical Attention

Following the turbulence, the flight made an urgent landing in Natal, Brazil, where injured passengers received medical attention. Uruguay’s foreign minister confirmed that 30 injured individuals were taken to Monsenhor Walfredo Gurgel Hospital with head, facial, and spinal injuries, among other traumas. Air Europa issued a statement noting that the plane landed normally and that the injured were being treated.

Passenger Reactions and Aftermath

Survivors of the ordeal shared their terrifying experiences. One shaken passenger recounted, “Those who did not have seatbelts flew and some remained hooked to the roof.” Another passenger, Norys, a Venezuelan living in Uruguay, described the intense fear she felt during the incident, noting how the plane seemed to fall endlessly before stabilizing.

The injured passengers reportedly waited on the aircraft floor for three hours before being transported to the hospital. Air Europa dispatched a new aircraft from Madrid to Natal to continue the journey to Montevideo. Passengers were to be bussed to Recife before flying to their final destination.

Airline’s Response and Future Precautions

Air Europa’s statement emphasized their commitment to passenger safety and assistance. They mentioned that their personnel were traveling to Natal and Recife to provide better service to the affected passengers. The airline also indicated that they would keep passengers updated on the situation and the continuation of their journey.

Read More: Shaken passengers arrive in Singapore after deadly turbulence-stricken flight

This incident marked the second emergency for Air Europa within 24 hours. A separate flight from Madrid to Tel Aviv had to be diverted to Rome due to an emergency declared while descending into Italian airspace.