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Tuesday
September 2019
9:57 AM IST
News Headlines
Pakistan recall Umar Akmal, Ahmed Shehzad for uncertain Lanka series        Kohli holds on to 2nd spot as Smith retains number one position in ICC Test Rankings        Steve Smith 'proud' after summer of Ashes redemption        Some 46,000 General Motors auto workers strike in US        Sensex cracks nearly 300 pts; oil and gas stocks tank        Trump to join Modi in Houston to address 50K Indian-Americans, says White House        Car bomb kills 11 civilians in northern Syria: monitor        PM to visit Narmada dam on b'day to mark highest water level feat        Bribery case: CBI inspector surrenders before ACB        Centre should release funds for MP flood relief: Scindia        Cong, NCP to contest 125 seats each in Assembly polls: Pawar        21 Indians killed in 2,050 ceasefire violations by Pak this year: MEA        Government to rebuild Palarivattom flyover        CM demands PSC questions in Malayalam        Sourabh wins Vietnam Open Super 100 title        England close in on Ashes-levelling win after Broad double        Air India posts Rs 4,600 cr operating loss in 2018-19; aims operating profit this fiscal        SBI to move RBI to offer fixed-floating rate home-loans: Chairman        Hong Kong returns to violence with tear gas and Molotovs        36 people missing after boat sinks in Congo river: DRC police        
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International News
Passengers violently ejected from seats on turbulent flight
 
Honolulu: Dozens of people were violently slammed off the ceiling of a jetliner that encountered unexpected and intense turbulence over the Pacific Ocean Thursday.

An Air Canada flight to Australia made an emergency landing in Honolulu after 37 people were injured, nine seriously, during the sudden loss of altitude that sent people flying into the luggage compartments and aisles of the airplane.

The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered "un-forecasted and sudden turbulence," about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement.

"The plane just dropped," passenger Stephanie Beam told The Associated Press. "When we hit turbulence, I woke up and looked over to make sure my kids were buckled. The next thing I knew there's just literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane."

A woman behind her hit the ceiling so hard that she broke the casing of an oxygen mask, said Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Of the 37 passengers and flight crew members injured, nine had serious injuries, emergency responders said. Thirty people were taken to hospitals.

Honolulu Emergency Medical Services Chief Dean Nakano said the injured ranged in age from children to the elderly.

Customs agents and emergency responders met passengers at the gate at the Honolulu airport to ensure they could get medical attention quickly.

Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain. More than two dozen people were taken to hospitals, she said.

Llyn Williams was traveling with his wife, Erica Daly, back to their home in Sydney, Australia. His wife was injured and taken to the hospital.

He said when they hit the violent turbulence, "everybody who was not seated and belted in hit the roof, almost everybody in our cabin."

Williams described the cabin afterward as frightening, with plastic lying around and oxygen masks dangling. "A lot of blood everywhere," he said. "It was really quite scary."

Andrew Szucs, originally from Ontario but now living in Sydney, was not injured.

There had been turbulence before the abrupt drop and he was awake, bracing himself.

"Then all of a sudden the plane dropped and went sideways," Szucs said, and people who weren't strapped in "flew, hit the ceiling."

He said the pilot came on the radio and said they didn't see the turbulence on radar and had "no warning this kind of air drop was going to happen."

Babies and children were crying as crew members went through the cabin assessing injuries. About 15 minutes later, there was an announcement asking for passengers who are medical professionals to help, Beam said.

Sandy Marshall of Sydney was injured, with her two children unhurt.

"I didn't have my seat belt on at the time. My child was sleeping on me, and I went straight up into the ceiling," she said.

Most of the impact was to her head, but she also suffered a laceration under her right eye, bruising and muscular pain in her neck.

The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 meters) about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, said US 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 was arranging hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu and options for resuming the flight.

"If we're going to be stuck somewhere, I can think of worse places," said Beam, travelling with her 10- and 11-year-old children.


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