Sudden turbulence injures 35 on Air Canada flight to Sydney
Nine of the passengers suffered ‘serious’ injuries after plane dropped ‘about 100 feet’
Emergency staff treat a passenger on the Air Canada flight to Australia that was diverted and landed in Honolulu. Photograph: Hurricane Fall via AP
Passengers from an Australia-bound Air Canada flight diverted to Honolulu wait to rebook flights. Photograph: AP/Caleb Jones
Flight AC33, carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew, was flying from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia, when the Boeing 777 aircraft “encountered unforecasted and sudden turbulence approximately two hours past Hawaii,” the carrier said. The plane was diverted to Honolulu.
The passengers were taken to hospital and nine of them suffered “serious” injuries, local media reported, citing Hawaiian officials.
All customers except one had now left the hospital, while the remaining person was also expected to be released, a spokesperson for Air Canada said later on Thursday.
“(The plane) must’ve dropped about 100 feet or something because we all went up to the ceiling like throughout the plane,” one report quoted a passenger as saying.
“The seat in front of me, the girl hit the plastic overhead and actually snapped and broke it, and the oxygen masks came down, and a lot of panic,” the passenger, Michael Bailey, told Hawaii News Now.
The carrier’s initial reports were of 25 people with minor injuries. Medical personnel were on standby to examine passengers in Honolulu, Air Canada said earlier.
In another case, 29 people were injured after a Turkish Airlines flight encountered severe turbulence on its approach to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport in March. - Reuters