Passengers released from hospital after turbulence forces Air Canada emergency landing

Key Points
  • An Air Canada flight was forced to land in Hawaii after encountering severe turbulence.
  • At least 37 people were reportedly injured after the plane suddenly lost altitude.
  • Several reports described passengers hitting the ceiling.
Air Canada plane
Brent Lewin | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Air Canada says all passengers have now been released from hospital after one of its flights encountered severe turbulence while traveling from Vancouver to Sydney on Thursday.

According to passengers, the Boeing 777-200 violently shook and lost altitude around 600 miles beyond Hawaii. The plane was forced to make an emergency landing in Honolulu.

According to a BBC report, 30 out of 37 injured people required hospital treatment in Hawaii with nine of the injuries described as serious.

In an emailed statement to CNBC Friday, Air Canada said the plane was able to reroute and land normally after it "encountered un-forecasted and sudden turbulence."

In its email, Air Canada said all people had now been assessed, treated and released by local hospitals and were now staying in hotels on Hawaii.

A report from CBS news quoted one passenger who said: "A lot of people hit the ceiling, and (there was) a lot of screaming." Another said the plane "just sank and then flew up."

CBS added that most of the 269 passengers and 15 crew were sleeping when the turbulence struck.

In a statement reported by several media outlets, Air Canada said the aircraft was 600 miles past Hawaii when it "encountered sudden clear air turbulence."

Clear air turbulence (CAT) is described by the online aviation reference website SKYbrary as "sudden severe turbulence occurring in cloudless regions that causes violent buffeting of aircraft."