Heavy turbulence struck Air Canada's flight to Australia on Thursday and sent unsecured passengers flying through the ceiling, leaving dozens of people slightly injured and forcing the plane to land in Hawaii.
The Vancouver-Sydney flight experienced "unforeseen and sudden turbulence", about two hours after Hawaii, when the plane headed to Honolulu, leaving about 35 people slightly injured, the spokeswoman said. Air Canada, Angela Mah.
"The aircraft has just been dropped," 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, United States.
Emergency responders met the plane at the door. 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.
"I saw a whole group of people reach the ceiling of the plane," said another passenger, Alex MacDonald. "Two of the air hostesses were bringing food at that time and they also landed on the roof."
Passenger Luke Wheeldon told Honolulu KTIV that half of the passengers were not wearing seatbelts.
"There was no warning and then half of them, their heads hit the roof at the same time," he said. "And I went," Oh, it's a bad day. "
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.
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.