Ottawa: At least 37 people were injured when an Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered sudden and severe turbulence, the airline said. Flight AC33 was diverted to Honolulu's international airport at around 6.46 a.m. on Thursday morning, reports the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC).
Air Canada spokesperson Peter Fitzpatrick said 35 people sustained minor injuries. That number was later updated to 37 by emergency officials in Honolulu.
The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members and was about two hours past Hawaii when it hit "severe clear air" turbulence, Fitzpatrick said.
The turbulence happened at 10,973 metres (36,000 feet) about 966 km southwest of Honolulu, said US Federal Aviation Administration spokesperson Ian Gregor.
A passenger said she was jolted awake by the turbulence. "We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof, and everything fell down... People went flying," she said.
Another passenger, who was awake on the plane, said he was "quite terrified" after the aircraft suddenly dropped. The flight to Sydney is expected to resume on Friday, Air Canada said.