JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER and CALEB JONES
HONOLULU (AP) — Intense turbulence struck an Air Canada flight to Australia on Thursday and despatched unbuckled passengers flying into the ceiling, leaving about 35 folks with minor accidents and forcing the airplane to land in Hawaii.
The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered “un-forecasted and sudden turbulence,” about two hours previous Hawaii when the airplane diverted to Honolulu, leaving roughly 35 folks with minor accidents, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah mentioned in a press release.
“The airplane simply dropped,” passenger Stephanie Beam informed The Related Press. “Once we hit turbulence, I awoke and regarded over to ensure my children have been buckled. The subsequent factor I knew there’s simply actually our bodies on the ceiling of the airplane.”
A lady behind her hit the ceiling so laborious that she broke the casing of an oxygen masks, mentioned Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Emergency responders met the airplane on the gate. Honolulu Emergency Companies Division spokeswoman Shayne Enright mentioned accidents included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck ache and again ache. Greater than two dozen folks have been taken to hospitals, she mentioned.
“I watched a complete bunch of individuals hit the ceiling of the airplane,” mentioned one other passenger Alex MacDonald. “A few the air hostesses have been bringing meals out on the time, and so they hit the roof as properly.”
Passenger Luke Wheeldon informed Honolulu information station KTIV about half the passengers weren’t carrying seatbelts.
“There was no warning after which half of them, their head hit the roof abruptly,” he mentioned. “And I went, ‘Oh, this can be a dangerous day.’”
Infants and kids have been crying as crew members went by way of the cabin assessing accidents. About 15 minutes later, there was an announcement asking for passengers who’re medical professionals to assist, Beam mentioned.
The turbulence occurred at 36,000 toes (10,973 meters) about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, mentioned U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, in accordance with Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.
Air Canada was arranging lodge lodging and meals in Honolulu and choices for resuming the flight.
“If we’re going to be caught someplace, I can consider worse locations,” mentioned Beam, touring together with her 10- and 11-year-old youngsters.