HONOLULU (AP) – Dozens of people were violently thrown against the ceiling of an airliner that met with Thursday an intense and unexpected turbulence over the Pacific Ocean.
An Air Canada flight to Australia made an emergency landing in Honolulu after 37 people were injured, nine of them seriously, during the sudden loss of altitude that had pushed people to fly into the luggage compartments and the aisles of the plane.
The Vancouver-Sydney flight experienced "sudden and unexpected turbulence", about two hours after Hawaii, when the plane was hijacked in Honolulu, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement. a statement.
"The plane just dumped," passenger Stephanie Beam told The Associated Press. "When we were dealing with turbulence, I woke up and I checked if my kids were curly.The next thing I knew, was that there was literally has bodies on the ceiling of the plane. "
A woman behind her hit the ceiling so hard that she broke the envelope of an oxygen mask, said Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Of the 37 injured passengers and flight crew members, nine had serious injuries, emergency responders said. Thirty people were taken to the hospital.
The head of the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services, Dean Nakano, said the injured were elderly, children to the elderly. Customs officials and emergency responders met with passengers at the Honolulu Airport gate to ensure they could see a doctor quickly.
Honolulu Emergency Services spokeswoman Shayne Enright said the injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck and back pain. More than two dozen people were taken to the hospital, she said.
Llyn Williams traveled with her wife, Erica Daly, to their home in Sydney, Australia. His wife was injured and taken to the hospital.
When they were violently shaken by the violent turbulence, all those who were not seated and shackled were stuck in the roof, almost all in our cabin.
Williams then described the cabin as scary, with trailing plastic and hanging oxygen masks. "A lot of blood everywhere," he says. "It was really scary."
Andrew Szucs, originally from Ontario but now residing in Sydney, was not injured.
There had been turbulence before the crash and he was awake and getting ready.
"Then suddenly, the plane dropped and went off to the side," Szucs said. "And that's when the people who were tied up landed on the ceiling."
He added that the pilot had come on the radio and said he had not seen the turbulence on the radar and had been warned "that this type of airdrop would occur".
Babies and children cried while crew members were passing through the cabin to assess their injuries. About 15 minutes later, there was an announcement asking passengers, who are health professionals, to help, Beam said.
Sandy Marshall of Sydney was injured and her two children are unharmed.
"I did not have my seatbelt at the time, my child was sleeping on me and I was right up to the ceiling," she said.
Most of the impacts were on her head, but she was also suffering from a laceration in her right eye, bruising and muscle aches in her neck.
The turbulence occurred at 36,000 feet (10,973 meters) about 966 kilometers southwest of Honolulu, said Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, according to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.
Air Canada organized hotel rooms and meals in Honolulu, as well as options to resume the flight.
"If we're going to get stuck somewhere, I can think of worse places," said Beam, traveling with his 10- and 11-year-olds.