Air Canada flight makes emergency landing in Hawaii

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SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA - APRIL 24: An Air Canada Boeing 787 Dreamliner taxis to the terminal at San Francisco International Airport on April 24, 2019 in San Francisco, California. Boeing's first quarter profits fell 21 percent following the Boeing 737 Max technical issues that have grounded all of the Max aircraft around the world. Two Boeing 737 Max 8 aircraft crashed in a six months period. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images/AFP

Shocked passengers described being tossed around an Air Canada passenger jet as it hit a pocket of turbulence on its way to Australia on Thursday and was forced to make an emergency landing.

Flight AC33 from Vancouver to Sydney hit trouble around two hours beyond Hawaii and diverted back to the US island chain’s capital Honolulu, the company said in a statement.

The Boeing 777-200 landed “normally” at 6.45 am (1645 GMT), the statement went on, adding that “approximately 35 people appear to have sustained minor injuries.”

Passenger Jess Smith, told the local television station KHON that “we all hit the roof, and everything fell down… people went flying.”

The aircraft suddenly dropped, and “some people that weren’t strapped in, you saw them rise in the air and hit their heads on the roof… it was quite intense,” another traveler, Fais Asad, said to KHON.

A spokesperson from the Federal Aviation Administration quoted by Canadian broadcaster CBC said the incident took place at 36,000 feet (10,973 meters), about 600 miles (966 km) southwest of Honolulu.

The aircraft was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members.

Air Canada was arranging hotels and food for passengers in Honolulu and looking at resuming the flight, the statement said.

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