More than a dozen passengers were injured – and the interior of an aircraft left in ruins – after an Aerolineas Argentinas flight encountered severe turbulence between Miami and Buenos Aires. It is approximately a nine-hour flight.
Flight AR1303, which left from Miami International Airport on Thursday morning, suffered “turbulence of severe intensity” that resulted in the injury of 15 of the 192 passengers, the airline wrote in a statement posted to its official website. The carrier also posted updates to its Twitter page.
“The incident occurred in the flight phase called ‘cruise’ and was immediately reported by the commander in charge of the aircraft,” the airline wrote. “The company arranged its medical equipment at the arrival of the flight to assist those passengers who suffered blows or bruises due to the sudden movements that these type of atmospheric conditions cause.”
Aerolinas Argentinas, a SkyTeam alliance airline, added that eight of the injured passengers were taken to a hospital for futher treatment upon landing.
Photos from inside the aircraft show that the cabin sustained minor damage, including the partial detachment of an overhead panel. Broken curtain rods also hung from the ceiling alongside oxygen masks, according to The Sun, which dubbed the trip a “flight from hell.”
Debris and trash, as well as food, pillows and blankets, could also be seen strewn about the cabin floor.
Aerolineas Argentinas confirmed that once the turbulence ended, the flight crew assisted in treating injured passengers. Emergency medical teams took over once the plane landed at Ministro Pistarini International Airport, also known as Ezeiza International Airport, on Thursday evening.
The airline further stated that, despite the turbulence, the integrity of the aircraft was not compromised.
“Turbulence occurs when two air masses of different temperatures or different velocities collide,” the carrier said on its website. “These can produce sudden movements in the aircraft according to their intensity, although they do not in any way jeopardize the safety of the aircraft.”