Dozens injured as Air Canada flight to Sydney hits turbulence


An Air Canada flight was diverted on Thursday to Hawaii after a sudden case of severe turbulence left 35 customers with minor injuries, the carrier said in a statement.

Fitzpatrick said the plane was about two hours past Hawaii when it hit "severe clear air" turbulence.

An Air Canada spokeswoman was quoted as saying: "We are now making arrangements for the passengers including hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu, as well as options for resumption of the flight".

"It just seemed that the plane just sank and then flew up", said passenger Sharon Thornton. The aircraft was forced to turn around, before requesting an emergency landing in Honolulu.

An Air Canada spokesperson confirmed to CTV News that there was approximately 25 people on board who sustained minor injuries. A spokeswoman for the Honolulu emergency services department was not able to immediately provide details about the passengers' injuries. Air Canada said the plane landed normally at around 9:45 a.m. Vancouver time.

The passengers were reportedly not wearing seatbelts when the turbulence struck without warning, and hit their heads on the ceiling. "And I went, 'Oh, this is a bad day'".

Gregor says crew members asked for medical personnel to meet the plane at the gate.

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

The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew.