Turbulence reportedly injures 35 passengers, forces plane to divert to Hawaii


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 landed safely in Honolulu at 9:45 a.m. Vancouver time, said Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah.

Passengers described a sudden drop in altitude when the Air Canada jet hit the turbulence 600 miles from Hawaii.

"Some people that weren't strapped in, you saw them rise in the air and hit their heads on the roof and everything, so it was quite intense", another passenger told the station. The aircraft was forced to turn around, before requesting an emergency landing in Honolulu. Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain.

Multiple injuries were reported on a flight that experienced turbulence near Hawaii. "But as a whole people seem to be OK; didn't seem to be any major injuries".

The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 meters) about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, said U.S. Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor. Its spokesman said crew members had asked for medical personnel to meet the plane at the gate.

The flight had originated from Toronto and was reportedly carrying 268 passengers and crew.

"We are now making arrangements for the passengers including hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu, as well as options for resumption of the flight, " the spokesperson said.