‘Literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane’: Passengers describe extreme turbulence on Air Canada flight that sent 30 people to the hospital

Inside the Air Canada flight, which was diverted to Hawaii because of turbulence on Thursday.

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Inside the Air Canada flight, which was diverted to Hawaii because of turbulence on Thursday.
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Australian Band – Hurricane Fall via REUTERS

  • An Air Canada flight made an emergency landing on Thursday after extreme turbulence injured dozens of passengers.
  • Video footage showed the inside of the cabin after the turbulence, which injured 37 people and saw 30 people taken to a hospital.
  • One passenger said there were “literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane.”
  • An Australian band, which captured the footage of the aftermath, praised the Air Canada staff for their “professionalism.”
  • Visit Business insider’s homepage for more stories.

Passengers on an Air Canada plane described the chaos of extreme turbulence that threw some of them to the ceiling, caused the flight to make an emergency landing, and sent 30 people to the hospital.

The flight to Sydney from Vancouver, British Columbia, was forced to make an emergency landing in Hawaii on Thursday after severe turbulence that jolted passengers out of their seats and around the plane.

Thirty-seven people were injured, with nine of these left in a serious condition, the Associated Press reported on Friday.

Thirty passengers were taken to a hospital in Hawaii as a result. All but one were quickly released, with the remaining passenger expected to be released soon, an Air Canada representative told Reuters.

One passenger, Stephanie Beam, told the Associated Press “the plane just dropped.”

An image from video footage showing oxygen masks in an Air Canada flight that encountered extreme turbulence on Thursday.

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An image from video footage showing oxygen masks in an Air Canada flight that encountered extreme turbulence on Thursday.
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Australian Band – Hurricane Fall via REUTERS

“When we hit turbulence, I woke up and looked over to make sure my kids were buckled,” she said. “The next thing I knew there’s just literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane.”

The Australian band Hurricane Fall shared footage of the inside of the cabin after the turbulence.

The video shows oxygen masks descended from the overhead compartments, the cabin lights dimmed and replaced with purple light, and some passengers rising to talk to one another. “It’s crazy, man,” one passenger says.

The band thanked the Air Canada staff for their “professionalism and swift response” and said it was “an eye-opening, incredibly frightening experience, but we’re grateful we are all safe and sound.”

Michael Bailey, another passenger, told Hawaii News Now: “All of a sudden, the plane dropped. Must’ve dropped about 100 feet or something because we all went up to the ceiling like throughout the plane. It was pretty scary.”

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A passenger named Erica Daly told the Hawaiian outlet that she was asleep before she was thrown out of her seat, hit the ceiling, and landed back on her arm rest.

Llyn Williams told the AP that “everybody who was not seated and belted in hit the roof, almost everybody in our cabin.” His wife was taken to a hospital, and he said the cabin afterward had “a lot of blood everywhere.”

“It was really quite scary,” he said.

An Air Canada jet.

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An Air Canada jet.
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Wikimedia Commons

“I’ve got whiplash in my neck, I’ve got three stitches in my head where I’ve got a gouge,” Daly said. “I’ve got a cut on my knee, a cut on my shoulder, and just pain down one side of my body.”

Emergency responders met passengers at the gate, and Hawaiian medical officials said the injured included children and the elderly, the AP reported.

Air Canada was arranging accommodation and food for the passengers in Honolulu, according to the AP, as well as flights so they could continue their journey to Sydney.