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 individuals 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 individuals with minor accidents, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah stated in an announcement.
“The plane just dropped,” passenger Stephanie Beam advised The Related Press. “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.”
A lady behind her hit the ceiling so arduous that she broke the casing of an oxygen masks, stated Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Emergency responders met the airplane on the gate. Honolulu Emergency Providers Division spokeswoman Shayne Enright stated accidents included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck ache and again ache. Greater than two dozen individuals had been taken to hospitals, she stated.
“I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane,” stated one other 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 advised Honolulu information station KTIV about half the passengers weren’t sporting seatbelts.
“There was no warning and then half of them, their head hit the roof all at once,” he stated. “And I went, ‘Oh, this is a bad day.’”
Infants and youngsters had been crying as crew members went by the cabin assessing accidents. About 15 minutes later, there was an announcement asking for passengers who’re medical professionals to assist, Beam stated.
The turbulence occurred at 36,000 ft (10,973 meters) about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, stated U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, in keeping 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 stuck somewhere, I can think of worse places,” stated Beam, touring along with her 10- and 11-year-old kids.
JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER