At least 37 passengers and flight crew members were injured after intense turbulence struck an Air Canada flight to Australia on Thursday.
The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered “un-forecasted and sudden turbulence,” about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement.
Flight AC33 was diverted to Honolulu’s international airport at around 6.46 am on Thursday morning, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) reported.
According to Peter Fitzpatrick, Air Canada spokesperson said, “35 people sustained minor injuries. That number was later updated to 37 by emergency officials in Honolulu”.
“The plane just dropped, when we hit turbulence, I woke up and looked over to make sure my kids were buckled. The next thing I knew there’s just literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane”, one of the passengers Stephanie Beam told The Associated Press.
Of the 37 passengers and flight crew members injured, nine had serious injuries, said emergency responders.
“Thirty people were taken to hospitals”, he added.
Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Chief Dean Nakano said the injured ranged in age from children to the elderly”.
He further said, “Customs agents and emergency responders met passengers at the gate at the Honolulu airport to ensure they could get medical attention quickly”.