35 Injured on Air Canada Flight to Australia After Aircraft Hits 'Sudden Turbulence'

Illustration for article titled 35 Injured on Air Canada Flight to Australia After Aircraft Hits 'Sudden Turbulence'
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Dozens of passengers aboard an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia on Thursday were injured after the aircraft met “un-forecasted and sudden turbulence,” forcing the plane’s pilots to make an emergency landing in Honolulu.

A spokesperson for the airline told Gizmodo in a statement by email that an estimated 35 people on flight AC33 suffered “minor injuries” in the incident, based on its current information. There were 269 passengers and 15 crew on the aircraft, a Boeing 777-200, the spokesperson said.

The plane was roughly two hours past Hawaii when it was forced to divert to Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, landing at around 12:45 p.m. ET, according to the airline.


According to CTV News Montreal, passengers mostly suffered head and neck injuries. A passenger identified as Tim Tricky said that those who weren’t wearing seatbelts at the time of the incident “hit the roof like a jack-in-a-box.”

Passenger Sharon Thornton told CBS News that it seemed as though the aircraft “just sank and then flew up.” The outlet reported that nine people were transported to a nearby hospital after the plane landed safely.

“Our first priority is always the safety of our flights, passengers and crew and as a precaution, medical personnel are on standby to assist passengers in Honolulu,” an Air Canada spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said that the airline is arranging for hotel stays and meals for the flight’s passengers while they await another flight. They will depart Honolulu on Friday on a different aircraft.


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I always think it’s amusing when the pilot switches off the seatbelt sign for the first time, and within milliseconds, the cabin is filled with the sound of dozens of seatbelts being unfastened as quickly as possible. Those people have been sitting there since takeoff, melting that sign with their eyeballs, just willing it to go away so that they can... what? A few will need the washroom, sure, but where do the rest of them think they’re going to go? YOU’RE IN A TUBE THOUSANDS OF FEET IN THE AIR, PEOPLE!! Keep your shit buckled up!

It doesn’t need to be cinched-down to the point of cutting off circulation, so you probably won’t even remember it’s there after awhile.. until you’re reminded the hard way that turbulence like this is a thing that definitely happens!