Over 35 Injured as Air Canada Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Honolulu

Over 35 Injured as Air Canada Flight Makes Emergency Landing in Honolulu

An Air Canada flight en route to Australia was forced to make an emergency landing in Hawaii after dozens of passengers were injured during intense turbulence.

The plane landed at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport around 6:45 a.m. Hawaii time (12:45 p.m. EDT), the airport duty manager said.

"Current information indicates there are approximately 35 people who appear to have sustained minor injuries", she said.

Jim Howe, director of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, described the rapid response as the flawless representation of Hawaii's "aloha spirit".

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 about 10,970 metres 966 kilometres southwest of Honolulu, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration said in a tweet.

Passenger Stephanie Beam says the plane "just dropped" and bodies were hurled upward.

Air Canada said it was arranging hotels in Honolulu for those who were on aboard until a new flight to Australia can be arranged.

"As I sort of woke up the plane dropped out of nowhere and I was plunged from the seat, hitting the roof".

Brisbane resident Alex Macdonald told Canadian broadcaster CBC News that passengers were "extremely shocked".

"We just hit turbulence pretty quick", passenger Michael Bailey said, according to CNN.

There were a total 269 passengers and 15 crew members on the flight.

Terrified passengers and crew were thrown into the air and hit the ceiling, leaving 37 injured - nine seriously.

Emergency responders met passengers at the gate, and Hawaiian medical officials said the injured included children and the elderly, the AP reported.

In June, a severe case of turbulence on a flight from Kosovo to Switzerland was captured on video.

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