Honolulu, Hawaii - On July 11, a Boeing 777 from Air Canada was hit by severe turbulence while it was en route from Vancouver to Sydney.
Air Canada Flight AC33 encountered clear air turbulence (CAT) at 36,000 feet, two hours past Hawaii, approximately 520 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu.
At least 37 people were injured during the incident. The aircraft carried out an emergency landing at the Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii. There were 269 passengers and 15 crew members on board.
The aircraft landed at the Honolulu International at 06:46 local time.
Thirty people were hospitalized in Honolulu. Nine of them had severe injuries, Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said. Injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain.
Clear Air Turbulence occurs without any visual sign such as clouds.
It appears when massive air bodies hit each other moving at different speeds. They cannot be detected by the naked eye or weather radar.
According to passengers who spoke to the local media, there was a huge panic and chaos in the cabin. Some passengers hit the ceiling of the aircraft.
We all hit the roof and everything fell down, Jess Smith told local TV station KHON.
I saw the people ahead of me hitting the overhead baggage compartments and then just slamming back into their seats, she said.
The oxygen masks were released and the personal belongings of the passengers, including hand luggage were thrown over during the incident.