Dozens of passengers aboard an Air Canada flight were injured when the plane hit severe turbulence en route from Vancouver to Australia, forcing it to make an emergency landing in Hawaii.
The plane carrying 284 people was about two hours past the Hawaiian islands on its flight to Sydney on Thursday morning when it encountered “un-forecasted” and “sudden” turbulence, Air Canada officials said.
Thirty-seven people were injured aboard the Boeing 777, including 30 who were taken to hospitals. Nine of them were seriously hurt, according to Hawaii News Now.
“We all hit the roof and everything fell down,” Jess Smith told local TV station KHON after the plane landed in Honolulu at 6:45 a.m. “People went flying.”
Brisbane resident Alex Macdonald told Canadian broadcaster CBC News that passengers were “extremely shocked.”
“I saw the people ahead of me hitting the overhead baggage compartments and then just slamming back into their seats,” Macdonald said.
“The whole experience was probably 10 to 15 seconds, a bit of mild shaking, nothing out of the ordinary, and then just a drop out of nowhere,” she said.
“[It] was just a bunch of noise, people extremely shocked, and then a very eerie stillness throughout the cabin as people tried to grasp what had happened,” said Macdonald, who was wearing a seatbelt and was not hurt.
A video shot by a passenger shows that oxygen masks were released during the mayhem, which erupted at 36,000 feet and about 600 miles southwest of Honolulu.
The Australian country band Hurricane Fall also was on board. Its lead vocalist, Pepper Deroy, suffered nerve damage in his forearm and elbow.
“After being treated on the tarmac and then a follow up in hospital hes got the Thumbs Up, we are all super grateful to the AirCanada staff for their professionalism and swift response,” the band said in a Facebook post.
“This was an eye opening incredibly frightening experience, but were grateful we are all safe and sound. Well be home soon!” they said, adding the hashtag #wearyourseatbelts.
Australian passenger Erica Daly said she w