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Air Canada flight diverted to Honolulu after severe turbulence hurt 37

An Air Canada flight was forced to make an emergency landing in Honolulu in the early hours of Thursday morning, after it encountered severe turbulence that left approximately 37 people injured.

The flight, AC33, was traveling from Vancouver to Sydney, Australia, when it reached an unforeseen spot of rough air about 1,000 miles southwest of Hawaii, according to Air Canada. The Associated Press reported that the turbulence was severe enough to cause 37 injuries, nine of which were considered serious.

"The plane just fell down," Stephanie Beam told the AP. "When we got to the turbulence, I woke up and looked to make sure my children were fastened in. The next thing I knew, there are literally bodies on the roof of the plane."

The flight landed safely at the Daniel K Inouye International Airport in Honolulu at 12:45 p.m. ET, or 6:45 a.m. Hawaii time. More than two dozen were taken to hospitals at the time of the landing, according to the spokesperson of the Department of Emergency Services of Honolulu, Shayne Enright, with injuries ranging from cuts and bruises to neck and back pain.

A representative for the airport deferred the comment to Air Canada.

It was not immediately clear if the Air Canada 777-200 aircraft, which had 269 passengers and 15 crew members on board, suffered any damage. However, modern commercial aircraft are built and tested to withstand virtually any possible degree of turbulence in flight.

While turbulence is increasingly common as a result of climate change, severe turbulence and associated injuries are extremely rare. In 2017, 17 injuries caused by turbulence were reported, according to the Federal Aviation Administration.

Business Insider reporter Lauren Frias contributed to this report.

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