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Image: Screenshot via CBC News

Air Canada turbulence leaves 21 in hospital after 'flight from hell'

A spokesperson for the airline described it as a “very unsettling experience” for the passengers.
Dec 31st 2015, 9:33 AM 38,063 21

AN AIR CANADA flight made an emergency landing in Calgary after several people were injured in severe turbulence.

Flight AC088 was travelling from Shanghai to Toronto with 332 passengers and 19 crew members on board.

The Boeing 777 landed at 10pm Irish time, and local media report that emergency services enacted a ‘mass casualty protocol’.

CBC News reports that three children are among the 21 injured – eight people had non-life threatening injuries while 13 were kept under observation.

A spokesperson for the airline described it as a “very unsettling experience” for the passengers.

“We are grateful that the first passengers are already being released from hospital,” chief operation officer Klaus Goersch said in a statement thanks the flight crew of AC088 and local emergency services for their care and professionalism.

Australia Plane Emergency File photo of an Air Canada Boeing 777. Source: Rick Rycroft

“Safety is always our first priority and so any incident involving the safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost concern.”

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Speaking to the Calgary Herald, passenger Connie Gelber described the incident as a “flight from hell”.

It was frightening. Honestly, we didn’t know if we were going to live or die.

Another passenger, an artist who goes by the name Zarum, told CBC News:

“I was laying flat in a business class seat, I had my seatbelt on and suddenly I saw the passenger in front of me go flying up in the air, literally to the ceiling, and then hitting the ground again.”

And then passengers started screaming and objects started flying. It last maybe half an hour.

Read: Malaysia Airlines investigates ‘mix-up’ that sent plane flying in wrong direction >

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Nicky Ryan

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