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About 35 injured as Air Canada flight makes emergency landing in Hawaii

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1 2018 an Air Canada plane sits on the tarmac at Trudeau airport near Montreal

An Air Canada flight was diverted on Thursday to Hawaii after a sudden case of severe turbulence left 35 customers with minor injuries, the carrier said in a statement.

Emergency responders met the plane at the gate.

"I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane", said another passenger Alex MacDonald.

Initially 20 to 25 people were reported hurt, but after closer examination by medical personnel, an Air Canada spokesperson told CBC News it appeared that 35 people sustained minor injures, a lot of them being head and neck injuries.

"There was no warning and then half of them, their head hit the roof all at once", he said. A spokeswoman for the Honolulu emergency services department was not able to immediately provide details about the passengers' injuries.

Passenger Luke Wheeldon told Honolulu news station KTIV about half the passengers weren't wearing seatbelts.

Pepper Deroy was injured when Air Canada flight from Vancouver to Sydney 'fell from the sky'.

"Our first priority is always the safety of our flights, passengers and crew and as a precaution, medical personnel are on standby to examine passengers in Honolulu", Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said.

The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 metres), about 1,000km south-west of Honolulu, the US Federal Aviation Administration said.

The aircraft was a Boeing 777-200, with 269 passengers and 15 crew on board.

Flight 33 was travelling from Toronto to Sydney, with a pit stop in between.

He said the airline is arranging hotels in Honolulu for those who were on aboard until a new flight to Australia can be arranged.

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