The sudden drop of a Boeing 787 that injured 50 people may have been caused by a flight attendant accidentally hitting a switch in the cockpit, report says

  • A Boeing 787 suddenly dropped in midair on Monday, injuring 50 people.

  • The Wall Street Journal said the pilot's seat hit the controls when a flight attendant hit a switch.

  • Boeing then told airlines to check their 787 cockpits for loose covers on the switches.

Monday's Latam Airlines incident might have been caused by a flight attendant accidentally hitting a switch in the cockpit, The Wall Street Journal reported.

The report added that Boeing told airlines on Thursday to inspect the cockpit seats on 787 Dreamliners as a result.

The Latam Dreamliner was flying from Sydney to Auckland when it suddenly dropped. Paramedics treated 50 people, 12 of whom went to the hospital, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Passengers have described seeing others "stuck to the roof" after the sudden movement.

In a Monday statement, a Latam Airlines spokesperson told Business Insider there was "a technical event during the flight which caused a strong movement." One passenger told CNN that the Boeing 787 pilot said the plane's gauges "just kind of went blank on me."

The Journal's report suggests that it could have instead been a mishap in the cockpit, citing unnamed US industry officials who were briefed on preliminary evidence from the investigation.

While serving a meal, a flight attendant may have hit a switch on the pilot's seat, the officials told the Journal, turning on a feature that pushed the pilot and his seat toward the controls. They added that this would have pointed the plane's nose down.

The switch on the pilot's seat usually has a cover and isn't supposed to be used when somebody is in the seat, the Journal reported.

The newspaper reported that Boeing's memo told airlines to inspect the seats for loose covers on the switches and gave instructions on how to turn off the motors that move the seats forward.

The planemaker is also considering updating the flight-crew manual, the Journal reported.

A Boeing spokesperson said: "We defer to the investigating agencies for any information."

Latam Airlines told Business Insider that it "continues to work in coordination with the authorities in order to support the investigation" and that "it is not pertinent to comment on the speculation that has been circulated."

Read the original article on Business Insider