Passenger on Boeing 787 jet that nosedived, injuring 50, recounts the horror: ‘Thought it

In World


A passenger on the Boeing jet which suddenly nosedived and sent bodies flying into the plane’s roof revealed he “felt like it was all going to end,” on the horror flight.

Brian Jokat, a 61-year-old Canadian who lives in London, England, was traveling on LATAM Airlines Flight LA800 from Australia to New Zealand as part of a three week holiday around the world when the terrifying incident unfolded on Monday.

“I had passed out sleeping on the plane and the next thing I know, bodies were flying past me and onto the roof of the plane and it was pretty scary really,” he told The Post.

“It actually felt like it wasn’t happening, it felt like a dream … but then a gentleman went from the roof down to hit the arm rest next to me and it became very real, real quick.

Brian Jokat, 61, told The Post he thought the plane was “going down”. Courtesy of Brian Jokat

“I was sure we were going down. I resided to the fact that this was out of my control. It felt like it was all going to end.”

At least 50 passengers were injured when the 787 Dreamliner jet suddenly “dropped out of the sky” — propelling several people out of their seats.

Jokat told The Post this man was seated in front of him and that he saw him “fly into the roof” during the incident. “I’m certain his ribs were broken,” Jokat added. Courtesy of Brian Jokat

The aircraft, operated by the Chilean carrier, had 263 passengers and nine crew aboard, traveling from Sydney to Auckland. Some people hit the roof so hard it was partially torn apart, according to Jokat and as seen in pictures obtained by The Post.

Video posted online from the tumultuous flight also showed one person lying unconscious in the middle of the aisle as others held their heads in apparent pain and shock.

The plane was about an hour from its destination when the incident occurred.

“The plane took a nosedive and then almost righted itself a few seconds later,” Jokat told The Post.

Jokat described the remainder of the flight as particularly “scary” for the passengers who were injured.

“People were being treated by various doctors onboard who basically threw themselves into action,” he explained.

At least 50 passengers were injured when the plane nosedived, according to authorities. Courtesy of Brian Jokat

Jokat watched in horror as the man seated in front of him smashed into the ceiling and appeared to sustain broken ribs, he said.

Once the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner safely landed in Auckland, emergency crews treated 50 people onboard, local ambulance company Hato Hone St. John said in a statement to Australia’s ABC News.

It was during this moment Jokat said he noticed several people “horizontal” on the floor and one person who did not appear to be moving at all.

“Some people were seriously cut, bleeding,” he told The Post.

“There were a few people with neck braces on who were horizontal awaiting treatment after I got off the plane.

“And I know there was one person at the back that was needing serious attention.

“There was a significant number of people around me who were injured.”

Medics rushed onto the aircraft to help injured passengers once the plane landed. Courtesy of Brian Jokat

Jokat said he took the opportunity to ask the plane’s captain what had happened when he passed him on the aircraft.

“He said that he lost control of his instrument panel and it just went blank on him for a split second. There was no warning,” Jokat claimed.

“It just instantly dropped some 400 feet, they say, and the rest is history.”

Twelve people were transported to a local hospital, with one person in serious condition, the ambulance service said. Jokat, who was wearing a seatbelt at the time of the incident, escaped unscathed.

Another passenger described how many passengers not wearing seat belts “flew” through the cabin.

“Blood was on the ceiling, people [flew] and broke the ceiling of the plane,” the passenger, only identified as Valentina, told CNN affiliate RNZ.

In a statement, LATAM Airlines confirmed the flight had a “technical event” which caused a “strong movement.”

A spokesperson for the airline also noted the flight “landed at Auckland Airport as scheduled.

“As a result of the incident, some passengers and cabin crew were affected,” the spokesperson said in a statement to the New Zealand Herald.

“They received immediate assistance and were evaluated and treated by medical staff at the airport as needed.”

Authorities prepare to enter the plane and assist injured passengers. Courtesy of Brian Jokat

LATAM Airlines regretted “the inconvenience and injury this situation may have caused its passengers,” and reiterated “its commitment to safety as a priority within the framework of its operational standards,” a spokesperson said. Passengers were also given overnight accommodation, according to local reports.

A replacement flight to Santiago, Chile, has been scheduled for Tuesday evening, ABC News reports. LATAM Airlines was making a trip from Sydney to Chile, with a stopover in New Zealand, at the time of the “technical” problem.

The frightening incident comes at a time when plane manufacturer Boeing is under scrutiny after recent incidents include a mid-flight fuselage panel blowout on an Alaska Airlines jet and a 787 plane which appeared to have its wing repaired with tape.

Boeing told The Post on Monday it was “working to gather more information” about the LATAM flight “and will provide any support needed by our customer.”

Health New Zealand confirmed they were still treating four patients on Tuesday morning local time. In a statement they say they had treated people for a “range of moderate injuries” but everyone was now “in a stable condition.”





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