A Canada-bound airliner was forced to make an emergency landing after severe turbulence injured 21 passengers, including three children, officials said, BBC reports. The Air Canada flight from Shanghai to Toronto was diverted to Calgary after the turbulence hit. Eight passengers suffered neck and back injuries and 13 more were taken to hospital for observation.
The injured were in a stable condition, an emergency services spokesman said. Bing Feng, a passenger, described hearing “lots of screaming” as the plane became “like a rollercoaster”. Another passenger, Yi Lee, said: “To start with it was just OK, normal just up and down, and all of a sudden it was really violent and just shaking everybody.
“Suddenly the flight is just going down and everything is really scary. The girl sitting next to me, she was sleeping and she just fly up [to the ceiling].” Gord Murray, a frequent flyer, said the turbulence was the worst he’d ever experienced. Some passengers were taken off the plane strapped to stretchers. Emergency Medical Services spokesman Stuart Brideaux said the injuries were limited to non-life-threatening neck and back injuries.
Air Canada’s chief operating officer Klaus Goersch said the passengers had been through a “very unsettling experience”. He praised the crew’s response and said some of the injured had been quickly discharged.
The Boeing 777 with 332 passengers and 19 crew on board landed at Calgary without further incident, the airline said in a statement.