Ottawa, Jul 12 : At least 37 people were injured when an Air Canada flight, flying from Vancouver to Sydney was forced to land in Honolulu after encountering severe 'clear air turbulence'.
According to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick, the Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, flying from Vancouver to Sydney. The local Hawaii News Now website reported the plane landed at the Honolulu's airport around 0645 hrs local time.
The plane had flown past Hawaii for two hours when it reported experiencing "un-forecasted" and "sudden" turbulence, then diverted back to Honolulu.
The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 meters) about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, US Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said.
"[Of those] 21 were deemed to be minor, nine were serious, and seven of the passengers refused to be transported," Hawaii Emergency Medical Services chief Dean O'Connell said.
Air Canada was arranging hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu and options for resuming the flight, said Air Canada spokesperson Angela Mah.
Social media footage taken by Newcastle woman Jess Smith onboard the aborted flight showed oxygen masks dangling from the ceiling as disorientated passengers stumbled out of their seats.
She wrote "everyone hit the ceiling of the plane" after the plane experienced "huge turbulence".(UNI)