Passengers injured on rocky Air Canada flight

Thu Jan 10, 2008 6:22pm EST
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By Jeffrey Jones

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Eight passengers and two crew members were injured on Thursday after an Air Canada jet bucked in midair on a flight across Canada, forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing in Calgary.

Those hurt in what was described as sharp drops in altitude and violent rocking were rushed to Calgary hospitals, where their injuries were deemed to be non-life-threatening. Others were treated and released.

"It happened very fast," a female passenger in the plane's front cabin told CBC Television.

"One side of the plane just went up a little bit sideways and then it just sort of went back down. And our friend was really hurt ... she flew up and hit the ceiling and (came) right back down."

Flight AC190, an Airbus A319 with 83 passengers and five crew aboard, was en route to Toronto from Victoria, British Columbia, when the plane jolted and rocked above the Rocky Mountains, throwing some passengers out of their seats. Severe air turbulence is suspected.

The plane made the unscheduled landing at 8:30 a.m. local time at Calgary International Airport, where 11 ambulances and more than 20 firefighting vehicles were waiting.

An emergency medical services spokesman said six injured passengers were taken from the plane on stretchers.

Ten people were taken to local hospitals, including two crew. Six people were initially listed as seriously injured but by late afternoon the Calgary Health Region said all but one of the 10 had been released from hospital with the final patient expected to be discharged soon.   Continued...

<p>Paramedics come out of an Air Canada plane after 10 passengers were injured when the plane hit air turbulence over the Rocky Mountains enroute to Toronto from Victoria, at Calgary International Airport in Calgary January 10, 2008. REUTERS/Todd Korol</p>