At least 35 injured from turbulence on Air Canada flight

At least 35 injured from turbulence on Air Canada flight

At least 35 injured from turbulence on Air Canada flight

Dozens of people on an Air Canada flight to Australia have been injured after the plane encountered unexpected turbulence, forcing it to land in Hawaii. The plane dropped suddenly when the turbulence hit the aircraft, injuring 37 passengers and crew.

Linda Woodhouse, an Albertan who is moving to Australia, said people had just begun to wake up and move around when the airplane experienced several seconds of minor turbulence. A lot of screaming.

"The lady in front of us, I don't think she had her seatbelt on and she hit the ceiling", said Sharon Thornton.

The plane - which had 284 people on board - was travelling from Vancouver to Sydney on Thursday but had to be diverted to Hawaii. Nine had severe injuries, officials say. A spokeswoman for the Honolulu emergency services department was not able to immediately provide details about the passengers' injuries. Emergency workers transported 30 people to hospitals.

He said that when they hit the violent turbulence, almost everyone in their cabin who wasn't belted in hit the ceiling. In photos snapped by the traveler, oxygen masks can be seen dangling from the ceiling while food is scattered on the floor.

"It was like a scene from a movie", he said.

In a statement, Transport Canada said it "takes all reports of turbulence seriously" and that when severe turbulence is reported, it follows up with airlines to ensure proper procedures were followed.

There had been turbulence before the abrupt drop and he was awake, bracing himself.

A passenger said she was jolted awake by the turbulence. "It was pretty scary", he said.

Babies and children were crying as crew members went through the cabin assessing injuries.

It costs US carriers an estimated $US200 million annually and the US Federal Aviation Administration has identified it as the leading cause of injuries to passengers and crew in non-fatal accidents.

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