Dozens hurt after Vancouver-Australia Air Canada flight hits turbulence

1 2018 an Air Canada plane sits on the tarmac at Trudeau airport near Montreal

Almost three dozen passengers and crew sustained minor injuries Thursday when an Air Canada flight travelling from Toronto to Sydney, Australia, ran into severe turbulence, prompting an emergency landing in Honolulu.

The Air Canada flight was completing a standard route from Toronto to Sydney.

The plane was flying over the Pacific Ocean when it experienced "un-forecasted turbulence", CTV News reported.

"I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane", said Alex MacDonald. The flight was two hours away from Honolulu at the time and was forced to alter its course to make an emergency landing.

CTV News reports that between 20-25 passengers and at least one crew member have been injured as a result of the incident.

"After examination it now appears that 35 customers sustained minor injuries", said Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick.

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The affected people are being examined by medical personnel, an Air Canada spokesperson told the channel.

Numerous people hurt have head and neck injuries.

The airline is now making arrangements for passengers, including hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu, as well as providing flight options, Mr. Fitzpatrick added.

The number of passengers on the plane totalled 269.

Eyewitnesses described a gut-churning drop in altitude that slammed passengers and flight attendants into the ceiling.

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