WATCH: Turbulence injures dozens on Air Canada flight to Australia

2019-07-13 08:27

Intense turbulence struck an Air Canada flight to Australia on Thursday and sent unbuckled passengers flying into the ceiling, leaving dozens with minor injuries and forcing the plane to land in Hawaii.

The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered "un-forecasted and sudden turbulence", about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu, leaving approximately 35 people with minor injuries, Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah said in a statement.

"The plane just dropped," said passenger Stephanie Beam.

"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."

READ: Passenger dies while boarding FlySafair plane at OR Tambo

A woman behind her hit the ceiling so hard that she broke the casing of an oxygen mask, said Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Injuries

Emergency responders met the plane at the gate. Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokesperson Shayne Enright said injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain. More than two dozen people were taken to hospitals, she said.

"I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane," said another passenger Alex MacDonald. "A couple of the air hostesses were bringing food out at the time, and they hit the roof as well."

Passenger Luke Wheeldon told Honolulu news station KTIV about half the passengers weren't wearing seatbelts.

"There was no warning and then half of them, their head hit the roof all at once," he said. "And I went, 'Oh, this is a bad day.'"

Babies and children were crying as crew members went through the cabin assessing injuries. About 15 minutes later, there was an announcement asking for passengers who are medical professionals to help, Beam said.

The turbulence happened at 10 973m about 966km southwest of Honolulu, said US Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Ian Gregor.

The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew, according to Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.

Air Canada was arranging hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu and options for resuming the flight.

GET THE NEWS at your fingertips and download the News24 app for Android here now. Get it for your iPhone here.

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    canada  |  air travel
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

 
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.