Turbulence injures 35 on Air Canada flight to Sydney


Emergency workers assist passengers of Air Canada AC 33 flight, which diverted to Hawaii after turbulence

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Reuters

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Emergency workers assist passengers on Air Canada flight AC33 after it was diverted to Hawaii

At least 35 people suffered minor injuries after an Air Canada flight hit a severe patch of turbulence.

The plane – which had 284 people on board – was travelling from Vancouver to Sydney on Thursday but had to be diverted to Hawaii.

Medical staff examined the injured after it landed at Honolulu’s airport at 06:46 local time (16:46 GMT).

The Boeing 777-200 jet “encountered sudden clear air turbulence… two hours past Hawaii”, the airline said.

It added that it was arranging hotels in Honolulu until a new flight to Australia could be arranged.

“We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof, and everything fell down… people went flying,” Jess Smith, a passenger on board the flight, told local TV station KHON.

“Some people that weren’t strapped in, you saw them rise in the air and hit their heads on the roof and everything, so it was quite intense,” another passenger told the station.

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Getty Images

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The incident happened on board an Air Canada Boeing 777-200 jet (file image)

What is Clear Air Turbulence?

CAT – clear air turbulence – occurs in otherwise calm, clear blue skies, without any visual indication such as clouds.

It is caused when masses of air moving at different speeds meet, and can’t be identified by the naked eye or conventional radar.

Pilots use reports from other aircraft, passed on via air traffic control, to keep track of patches of CAT.

Alex Macdonald, from Brisbane, told Canadian broadcaster CBC News the passengers on board were “extremely shocked”.

“I saw the people ahead of me hitting the overhead baggage compartments and then just slamming back into their seats,” she added.



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