MORE than 30 passengers have been injured after a plane bound for Australia was hit by severe turbulence.
The Air Canada flight, from Vancouver to Sydney, was forced to land in Hawaii following the mid-air emergency.
In a statement, the airline said the Boeing 777 aircraft was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew when it “encountered unforecasted and sudden turbulence approximately two hours past Hawaii”.
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It’s understood oxygen masks dropped from the ceiling and several passengers were thrown around the cabin.
A man who was on board the flight told reporters in Honolulu “a girl” in front of him shot through the plastic ceiling.
At least 35 passengers are believed to have sustained minor injuries – nine of them have been taken to hospital.
There are reports that some of the injured passengers may have broken bones.
“We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof and everything fell down, and stuff … people went flying,” passenger Jess Smith told CBC News.
“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.’”
Air Canada says it is arranging accommodation and meals for the affected passengers.
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