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Video shows passengers stuck in overhead compartments aboard Air Europa 787 as they feared for their lives

Video shows passengers stuck in overhead compartments aboard Air Europa 787 as they feared for their lives

'People were thrown from the seats and hit the ceiling.'

Mild turbulence turned into a terrifying mid-air incident for one flight.

An Air Europa flight had to make an emergency landing in Brazil after being hit by 'strong turbulence' that left thirty passengers stuck in overhead bins and injured dozens.

The Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner was flying from Madrid to Uruguay when it diverted and landed at the Natal airport in northeastern Brazil at 2.32 am local time.

'Our flight UX045 bound for Montevideo has been diverted to the Natal airport (in Brazil) due to strong turbulence,' Air Europa said in a post on X.

'The plane has landed normally and those who sustained different types of injuries are already being treated.'

The Dreamliner, with a capacity for up to 339 passengers, experienced about 20 minutes of mild turbulence before suddenly dropping 400 metres at a speed of 1,000 kilometres per hour, according to passenger Evangelina Saravia.

People were completely thrown off guard and even more so for those who ignored the seatbelt warnings.

Photos and videos posted on social media showed broken ceiling panels with visible pipes and wires, with others showing multiple ambulances waiting on the tarmac in Natal.

One such video on Reddit reveals a passenger being rescued from the overhead luggage compartment.

'(Before the drop) there were people walking, people without belts. There were children sleeping without belts,' Saravia said. 'People were thrown from the seats and hit the ceiling, that’s why the ceiling broke.'

Another passenger, Daniel Montañez, told CNN he and his wife were sleeping with their seat belts on when the turbulence hit. They awoke to see fellow passengers hitting the ceiling of the cabin and falling back down.


'People who did not have their seat belts unfortunately suffered consequences, injuries,' he described. 'There were people broken, people on the floor, people screaming, people who felt bad, people bleeding … A rather chaotic image.

'As you can imagine, the nerves at that point start to play after you come to your senses about what happened, because at that moment you don’t really notice anything, only movements and madness.'

Romina Apai, another passenger, said the man sitting next to her 'got stuck in the roof, in the bin. We could not find him.'

She added: 'When the plane stabilised people fell on top of seats, on top of other people.'

The passengers finally arrived in Montevideo at 07:20 the following Tuesday, according to Air Europa.

The airline added in a post on X that they 'regret what happened and the inconvenience caused.'

Featured Image Credit: @‌pichipastoso/X