Five of the twelve passengers injured Monday March 11 after an air gap caused by a technical “incident” on a Boeing 787 connecting Sydney to Auckland were still hospitalized Tuesday in New Zealand, two of them requiring more serious care. According to the New Zealand Ministry of Health, these five passengers suffered from various injuries and were treated at two hospitals in Auckland. In a press release on Tuesday, the Chilean company Latam which operates this Boeing stressed that “only one passenger and one crew member suffered injuries which required additional treatment but their vital prognosis is not engaged”.

Passengers reported to local media that the plane, a Boeing 787 Dreamliner, quickly lost altitude over the Tasman Sea, propelling anyone whose seat belts were not fastened into the sky. “People were flying around because they didn’t have their seat belts on,” one passenger told RNZ radio. “Some people were really hurt. People were really scared too,” said this man, whose identity has not been revealed, with a trembling voice. Another passenger, Brian Jokat, told him he saw a passenger stuck to the ceiling of the plane before falling heavily and hitting his ribs on an armrest. “He was on the ceiling, on his back, looking at me. It was like in (the movie) The Exorcist,” Brian Jokat told RNZ, according to the NZ Herald.

In a press release, La Latam indicates that “flight LA800, operating on the Sydney – Auckland – Santiago route and carrying 263 passengers and 9 crew members, suffered a strong movement, the causes of which are currently being investigated.” “Following the incident, 10 passengers of Brazilian (2), French (1), Australian (4), Chilean (1) and New Zealand (2) nationality as well as 3 cabin crew members were transported” to the hospital. “The Latam Airlines group is working in coordination with the relevant authorities to carry out investigations into the incident,” it was added without further details. Passengers will be transferred to Santiago, Chile, their final destination, “aboard a new flight (LA1130) on March 12,” specifies the company which “reaffirms its commitment to safety.”

According to passenger Brian Jokat, after landing the pilot went to the passengers. “I asked him what happened and he said ‘I lost my instruments briefly and they suddenly came back,'” Brian Jokat told RNZ. Data from FlightAware, the airline tracking tool, shows the plane lost altitude about two hours after takeoff on the flight scheduled to last three hours. “We are working to gather more information about the flight and will provide all necessary support to our customer,” Boeing said in a statement sent to AFP.

This incident comes after a series of malfunctions on aircraft from the American aircraft manufacturer Boeing. At the beginning of January, a door of a Boeing 737 MAX 9, operated by Alaska Airlines, came loose a few minutes after takeoff, causing a few minor injuries. The 737 MAX had previously been grounded for almost two years after the crashes of two aircraft, the first, at the end of 2018, of the Indonesian company Lion Air, the second, at the beginning of 2019, of the Ethiopian company Ethiopian Airlines, causing more than 350 dead. In both cases, a problem with new software was the cause of the crashes.

Last week, a Boeing 777 had to make an emergency landing shortly after takeoff from San Francisco after a wheel came off before hitting cars in an airport parking lot. Earlier this month, US aviation regulators gave Boeing 90 days to present a plan to address quality control issues, with the head of the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) urging the company to “commit to making real and profound improvements”.