Turbulence forces plane to make emergency landing

An Air Europa Boeing plane made an emergency landing in Brazil on Monday after several people were injured by “strong turbulence” on a flight from Madrid to Montevideo, the airline said. The 787-9 Dreamliner was diverted to the airport of Natal in northeastern Brazil on its way to the Uruguayan capital, the Spanish company said on X, adding that passengers who suffered injuries “are receiving attention”. Uruguay’s foreign ministry said in a statement that passengers in need of medical attention were taken to the Monsenhor Walfredo Gurgel hospital in Natal. Several have already been discharged. A Uruguayan diplomatic source said “between 25 and 30” people were injured, but the number was not final. Most suffered “mild trauma” and “at first sight, no one’s life is at risk,” said the source. Air Europa said a plane will leave from Madrid later on Monday to pick up the passengers in Natal and continue the journey to Uruguay. In May, a 73-year-old British man died and several other passengers and crew suffered skull, brain and spine injuries when a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 hit severe turbulence on a flight from London and was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok. Worse turbulence Air safety experts say passengers are often too casual about wearing seatbelts, leaving them at risk if the plane hits unexpected turbulence. Scientists also say that so-called clear air turbulence, which is invisible to radar, is getting worse because of climate change. A 2023 study found the annual duration of clear air turbulence increased by 17 per cent from 1979 to 2020, with the most severe cases increasing by more than 50pc. Monday’s incident was the latest drama involving a Boeing plane, after a fuselage panel blew out of an Alaska Airlines 737 MAX in January as well as two crashes in 2018 and 2019 that killed 346 people in total.