Severe turbulance leaves dozens injured on Air Europa flight

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An Air Europa flight headed from Madrid to Montevideo, Uruguay, was diverted to a Brazilian airport on Monday after hitting severe turbulence, with 30 passengers experiencing minor injuries, local health authorities said.

Flight UX045 made an emergency landing at the Natal Airport in northeastern Brazil at 2:32 a.m. local time, according to local airport operator Zurich Airport Brasil.

A Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner aircraft was flying the route, FlightRadar24 data showed.

"Our flight bound for Montevideo was diverted to Natal due to strong turbulence," Air Europa said in a statement on social media. "The plane landed normally and those injured of varying severity are already being treated."

The health secretariat from the government of the Rio Grande do Norte state, where Natal is located, said in a statement that 30 passengers had been taken to hospitals in Natal with minor abrasions or orthopedic traumas.

According to Air Europa, a second plane was set to depart from Madrid later on Monday to pick up the passengers and continue the trip to Uruguay.

The latest incident follows a similar situation on a recent Singapore Airlines flight which saw passengers hospitalised and one person dead.  

As investigations into the cause of the turbulence continue, airlines and aviation authorities are emphasising the importance of passenger safety protocols and weather monitoring systems to mitigate such risks in future flights.

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