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Passenger suffers neck and skull fractures in severe turbulence on Europa League flight

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More than two dozen passengers were injured on an Air Europa flight from Spain to Uruguay on Monday, including several with fractured necks and skulls, officials said, marking at least the second serious injury caused by turbulence worldwide in less than a month.

Flight data showed that flight UX045 took off from Madrid and encountered turbulence after more than four hours of flight, making an emergency landing in the Brazilian coastal city of Natal in the early hours of Monday.

Some passengers hit their heads when the plane was jolted by turbulence, causing head, neck and chest injuries, according to Brazilian public health officials. Thirty-six passengers were treated for injuries and 23 were taken to hospitals, health and airport officials said.

Officials said some of the passengers who were treated were shaken but not injured. As of Monday evening, five passengers remained hospitalized, four of them in intensive care, officials said.

Passengers described terrifying scenes on board the Boeing 787 as some people flew through the cabin. Tell Telemundo News Channel At least one passenger was ejected from his seat and embedded in the aircraft’s ceiling area.

Two videos posted on social media appear to show Shows a man lying in the area near or above the aircraft’s luggage racks, then Being helped down Two other passengers. Other Photos and Videos show The ceiling and seats were damaged.

“A man was hanging between the plastic ceiling and the metal roof at the back and he had to be lowered,” said passenger Evangelina Saravia from Uruguay. Tell Telemundo“The same thing happened with a baby.”

Another passenger, Romina Apai, said she was sitting next to the man who was trapped in the ceiling. “He went flying and got stuck on the roof and in the bin – we couldn’t find him.” She told Telemundo. She added that when the plane stabilized, “people were just falling over their seats, over each other.”

It’s relatively rare for turbulence to cause such serious injuries: Between 2009 and 2022, only 163 serious injuries from aircraft turbulence were recorded in the United States, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

But Monday’s incident was the second of its kind in less than a month. A 73-year-old man died The Singapore Airlines flight he was on plunged 6,000 feet in a matter of minutes. More than 70 other people on board were injured.

Turbulence itself is common and not usually dangerous. Turbulence is often caused by changes in wind speed and direction, including storms and jet streams, and can cause sudden changes in the aircraft’s altitude and speed. Passengers who are not wearing seatbelts can be injured because turbulence can lift them out of their seats.

Recent studies suggest that climate change could make turbulence more common as rising carbon dioxide emissions affect air currents.

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