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Air Canada flight bound for Sydney lands in Hawaii after turbulence injures 35 passengers

ABC News logo ABC News 11/07/2019 By Kevin Nguyen and Nick Sas

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(Video by: Reuters)

Air Canada says about 35 passengers were injured on a Sydney-bound flight from Vancouver after the plane encountered turbulence at 36,000 feet.

The flight was forced to deter and land in the Hawaiian capital of Honolulu.

Flight tracking data showed the plane was about five-and-a-half hours into its journey before it suddenly decelerated about 500 kilometres out from the coast of Hawaii.

An hour later the aircraft turned around over the Pacific Ocean and covered about 2,000km to return to the nearest airport.

Social media footage taken by Newcastle woman Jess Smith onboard the aborted flight showed oxygen masks dangling from the ceiling as disorientated passengers stumbled out of their seats.

Oxygen masks released during the Air Canada flight. (Snapchat: Jess Smith) © Supplied Oxygen masks released during the Air Canada flight. (Snapchat: Jess Smith) She wrote "everyone hit the ceiling of the plane" after the plane experienced "huge turbulence".

"I was asleep and I started to wake up from the plane rocking," Ms Smith told the ABC.

"As I sort of woke up the plane dropped out of nowhere and I was plunged from the seat, hitting the roof.

"A girl in front was bleeding."

Ms Smith's partner, Tay Maggs, who was returning home from holidays with her said she received a bloody nose after being launched from her seat.

"My nose is sore and bruised ... now I know why you should always wear the seatbelt".

Air Canada flight © Thomson Reuters Air Canada flight Newcastle band Hurricane Fall were also on the flight and posted on Facebook after the emergency landing their vocalist Pepper Deroy sustained nerve damage to his forearm and elbow.

He was treated on the tarmac and transported to hospital.

"This was an eye-opening, incredibly frightening experience, but we're grateful we are all safe and sound," the band said.

"We'll be home soon."

Another passenger, Australian man Michael Bailey, told CNN there was "a lot of screaming" during the turbulence.

Ms Smith said she and her partner, Tay, were staying in Hawaii until they were able to board another flight.

"On the bright side, I've never been to Hawaii," she said.

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