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Air Europa turbulence: Passengers stuck in overhead bins and suffer fractures during ‘severe’ turbulence on Air Europa flight

Simon Calder’s Travel

A Montevideo-bound Air Europa flight made an emergency landing in Brazil after being hit by “strong turbulence“ that left passengers stuck inside overhead bins and dozens of others with head, neck and chest injuries.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was flying from Madrid, Spain, to the Uruguayan capital when it made the diversion and landed at the Natal airport in northeastern Brazil at 2.32am local time on Monday.

The flight with 325 passengers on board was hit by turbulence over the Atlantic as it neared Brazil’s coast, a spokesperson for the airline said.

“The plane landed normally and those injured of varying severity are already being treated,” they said.

Some of the passengers suffered head, neck and chest injuries, the New York Times quoted Brazilian public health officials as saying. There were blood stains on an airplane seat, the report said.

Air Europa said a second plane would depart from Madrid later to take the passengers to Uruguay.

The inside of the Air Europa Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner after it landed in Brazil
The inside of the Air Europa Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner after it landed in Brazil (UGC/AFP via Getty)

Thirty passengers were taken to hospitals in Natal with injuries ranging from minor abrasions to cuts and cranial fractures.

They included nationals of Spain, Argentina, Uruguay, Germany, Bolivia and Israel, according to officials.

Pictures posted on social media by one of the passengers showed broken ceiling panels with visible pipes and wires inside the cabin. Another photo showed multiple ambulances waiting on the tarmac in Natal.

One passenger described the scene on the flight as it was caught in turbulence, which sent some people flying through the cabin and getting stuck in one of the overhead baggage compartments.

A video shared on Twitter/X showed a passenger’s legs sticking out from one of the overhead bins as two people attempted to bring him down.

“A person was left hanging between the plastic ceiling and the metal roof behind it and they had to be brought down,” Evangelina Saravia, passenger from Uruguay, told broadcaster Telemundo. “The same thing happened to a baby.”

Another passenger, Romina Apai, said the…

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