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This seems like a rough year for airlines. We began the year the horrific news of a Japan Airlines plane catching fire. Just one month ago, we saw the horrific visuals of several passengers getting injured on a Singapore Airlines flight due to turbulence, including one person who succumbed to his injuries. This time around, an Air Europa flight encountered severe turbulence, while flying from Madrid, Spain to Montevideo, Uruguay.

Strong Turbulence Injures Passengers

Flight UX045, a Boeing 787-9 dreamliner, was making its way from Spain to Uruguay. Due to strong turbulence, it had to be diverted to Natal airport in Brazil. Thankfully, the plane was able to make a safe and smooth landing in the end. However, by the time the plane landed in Brazil, many passengers on board faced multiple injuries.

While speaking to CNN, passengers recounted the horrific incident, describing how some passengers got tossed up and hit the ceiling, while many who were still wearing seatbelts, faced minimal impact.

“From one moment to the next, the plane destabilized and went into a dive. The people who didn’t have seat belts went up in the air and hit the ceiling, and they got hurt – those who had seat belts on, not so much,” one of the passengers, Maximiliano, told Reuters.

Another passenger, Stevan, told the news agency: “There are passengers with fractures and injuries to their arms, faces, and legs. There are about 30 people injured. It was a pretty horrible feeling; we thought we were going to die there, but thank God it didn’t happen.”

The Pundit’s Mantra

At the moment, this clearly looks like a case of a plane running into strong turbulence. Investigations into the incident are still on, while passengers are being offered medical treatment at the Natal airport in Brazil.

While I’m glad that there was no loss of life in this case, it once again highlights the importance of buckling up during turbulence. We’ve often seen even the most frequent travelers have a cavalier attitude when it comes to safety. However, this incident only demonstrates that you only need to be wrong once and the consequences can be severe.


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