LATAM plane had ‘technical problem’ during flight, leading to ‘strong shake’


A LATAM Airlines Group plane had a “technical problem” during a flight, causing what the airline described as “a strong shake” after its departure from Sydney, Australia.

Ten passengers and three crew members on flight LA800 were taken to a local hospital for medical checks, but no serious injuries were reported, the airline said.

“Only one passenger and one cabin crew member required additional attention, but without any life-threatening risks,” the airline said in a statement.

The plane, which carried 263 passengers and nine crew members, landed at Auckland Airport as scheduled.

Passengers on board the plane, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, described what they experienced as a sudden drop in altitude.

“The ceiling’s broken from people’s heads and bodies hitting it,” said Brian Jokat, a passenger. “Basically neck braces were being put on people, guys’ heads were cut and they were bleeding. It was just crazy.”

Boeing issued a statement saying the company was gathering information about the incident.

“We are working to gather more information about the flight and will provide any support needed by our customer,” Boeing said.

LATAM said it is working with investigators who are probing the incident and apologized to passengers who were affected.

A formal investigation into the LATAM flight was opened early Tuesday morning local time, and officials in New Zealand confirmed they were in the process of retrieving the black boxes.

“The Civil Aviation Authority of New Zealand was made aware of the incident on flight LA800 inbound to Auckland on 11 March. The immediate response was handled by Auckland Airport alongside emergency services,” the CAANZ said in a statement.

“Chilean authority, Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil, will investigate the incident. We are currently liaising with the Transport Accident Investigation Commission in New Zealand with regards to supporting that investigation and will participate as appropriate or necessary,” its statement concluded.

ABC News’ Clara McMichael, Joe Simonetti and Ivan Pereira contributed to this report.


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