a large white airplane in the sky

At Least 50 Injured on LATAM Flight to Auckland

On 11th March 2024, at least 50 passengers and crew members were injured on a LATAM Boeing 787 bound for Auckland. The B787 reportedly experienced severe turbulence due to a sudden drop in altitude en route. 

The Boeing 787-9 with registration CC-BGG was operating flight LA800 from Sydney to Auckland. However, while it was en route to Auckland, it experienced severe turbulence due to a sudden fall of 100 meters mid-air due to an unspecified technical problem. Flight LA800 normally stops in Auckland on its way to Santiago, Chile.

Passengers on board flight LA800 told the New Zealand Herald that the B787 went into a nose dive for a few moments, causing as many as 30 people to hit the ceiling. 

a screenshot of a computer screen
LATAM Flight LA800. Image: Flight Aware

After arriving in Auckland, as many as 50 passengers and crew members received medical attention from ground medical services in Auckland, with at least 13 being taken to local hospitals, with one person reported in serious condition. 

Footage shared on social media shows that parts of the aircraft’s ceiling were also damaged when the aircraft dropped.

a close up of a blue object
LATAM Boeing 787 Ceiling Damaged. Image: Brian Jokat

Passengers on the flight reported that many passengers were not wearing their seatbelts at the time of the incident. As the cabin crews were also injured, they were unable to help the injured passengers.

“I went into fight mode and just started jumping in and helping where I could because the crew were injured so couldn’t help. I’ve been on plenty of flights before but that was completely out the gate.”

Passenger Priscilla Waller-Subritzky told the New Zealand Herald

Another passenger reported that he had never experienced anything like that in over 15 years of traveling. “The plane dipped so dramatically into a nose dive for a couple of seconds and around 30 people hit the ceiling hard,” said Daniel to the New Zealand Herald.

a man sitting on a seat with a mask on his face
Passenger injured on LATAM flight. Image: Brian Jokat
a yellow and green ambulance parked in a parking lot
Emergency vehicles leaving the scene. Image: Dean Purcell

Daniel further said that passengers were screaming and the blood splattered throughout the plane. The incident took place mid-flight, with approximately an hour left on the journey.

“Latam deeply regrets any inconvenience and discomfort this situation may have caused its passengers, and reiterates its commitment to safety as a priority within the framework of its operational standards.”

LATAM Spokesperson

According to reports, passengers bound for Santiago will be accommodated on another flight rescheduled for tomorrow, and affected passengers have been provided with food and accommodation services.

Feature Image via FL360aero