Dozens injured as turbulence forces flight to land in Hawaii

Intense turbulence struck an Air Canada flight sending passengers flying into the ceiling and forcing the plane to land in Hawaii.

The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered "unforecasted and sudden turbulence," about two hours past Hawaii, Air Canada said.

The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members and was diverted to Honolulu.

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In this photo provided by Hurricane Fall, responders treat a passenger on an Air Canada flight to Australia that was diverted and landed at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu on Thursday, July 11, 2019. The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered "un-forecasted and sudden turbulence," about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement. (Tim Tricky/Hurricane Fall via AP)
Oxygen masks fall during turbulence in the Air Canada AC 33 flight
Passengers of the Air Canada AC 33 flight, which diverted to Hawaii after turbulence, are seen inside the plane at Honolulu airport
Oxygen masks fall during turbulence in the Air Canada AC 33 flight
Oxygen masks fall during turbulence in the Air Canada AC 33 flight
Passengers from an Australia-bound Air Canada flight diverted to Honolulu Thursday, July 11, 2019, after about 35 people were injured during turbulence, stand in line at the Air Canada counter at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to rebook flights. Air Canada said the flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered "un-forecasted and sudden turbulence," about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Andrew Szucs, right, who was on the Air Canada flight that made an emergency landing, waits for assistance at the Air Canada desk, Thursday, July 11, 2019 at Honolulu's international airport. Intense turbulence struck an Air Canada flight to Australia on Thursday and sent unbuckled passengers flying into the ceiling, leaving about 35 people with minor injuries and forcing the plane to land in Hawaii. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Passengers from an Australia-bound Air Canada flight diverted to Honolulu Thursday, July 11, 2019, after about 35 people were injured during turbulence, stand in line at the Air Canada counter at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to rebook flights. Air Canada said the flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered "un-forecasted and sudden turbulence," about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
Passengers from an Australia-bound Air Canada flight diverted to Honolulu Thursday, July 11, 2019, after about 35 people were injured during turbulence, stand in line at the Air Canada counter at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport to rebook flights. Air Canada said the flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered "un-forecasted and sudden turbulence," about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu. (AP Photo/Caleb Jones)
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Passenger Stephanie Beam said the plane "just dropped".

She said: "When we hit turbulence, I woke up and looked over to make sure my kids were buckled. The next thing I knew there's just literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane."

A woman behind her hit the ceiling so hard that she broke the casing of an oxygen mask, said Ms Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Of the 37 passengers and flight crew members injured, nine had serious injuries, emergency services said, with 30 people taken to hospitals.

Llyn Williams was travelling with his wife Erica Daly back to their home in Sydney, Australia.

His wife was injured and taken to the hospital.

He said: "Everybody who was not seated and belted in hit the roof, almost everybody in our cabin."

He described the cabin afterward as frightening, with plastic lying around and oxygen masks dangling. "A lot of blood everywhere," he said. "It was really quite scary."

Andrew Szucs, originally from Ontario but now living in Sydney, said the pilot came on the radio and said they did not see the turbulence on radar and had "no warning this kind of air drop was going to happen."

Babies and children were crying as crew members went through the cabin assessing injuries.

Sandy Marshall of Sydney was injured, with her two children unhurt.

"I didn't have my seat belt on at the time. My child was sleeping on me, and I went straight up into the ceiling," she said.

Most of the impact was to her head, but she also suffered a laceration under her right eye, bruising and muscular pain in her neck.

Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain.

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