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People ‘hit the roof’ on Boeing plane, passenger says as New Zealand probes sudden drop during flight

A passenger has told NBC News of the dramatic incident that saw people aboard a Boeing flight thrown into the ceiling, as authorities probed what caused the plane’s sudden mid-air plunge.

More than a dozen people were rushed to the hospital on Monday and at least 50 injured after a LATAM airlines flight traveling from Sydney, Australia to Auckland, New Zealand experienced a “strong shake,” officials Authorities in New Zealand said Tuesday they were seizing the black boxes from the Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, which had been due to continue on to Santiago, Chile.

“Everything was going well,” said passenger Brian Jokat, who was sitting in a window seat as the flight headed toward New Zealand. “Then all of a sudden, the plane took a nosedive down.”

“People were flying out of their seats, hitting the roof, being thrown back four or five aisles back,” Jokat, 61, said in a telephone interview.
Most notably, the door panel of an Alaska airlines flight blew out midair over Portland, Oregon on Jan. 5, prompting a criminal investigation by the Department of Justice.

Last week, a tire came off a United Airlines flight shortly after taking off from San Francisco, hitting cars parked near the airport.

A Boeing 737-900 plane flown by United Airlines made an emergency landing in Texas after bright orange flames were seen shooting out of the plane’s engine.

And an investigation is underway after another Boeing-made plane flown by United suffered “stuck” rudder pedals at Newark Airport in New Jersey last month.

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