Injuries worse than first thought in Air Canada flight that hit turbulence

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Emergency management officials in Honolulu Hawaii have figures showing that injuries on board an Air Canada flight that hit severe turbulence were more serious than originally reported.

EMS Chief Dean Nokano told a news conference yesterday that 37 people were injured, with 30 taken to hospital, and nine in serious condition.

Earlier reports said all the injuries were minor.

Nokano says those hurt the worst have back and neck injuries.

But there was no indication anyone is in life-threatening condition.

The Air Canada flight AC-33 was travelling from Toronto to Sydney, Australia, with a stop in Vancouver.

It hit the turbulence west of Hawaii and was forced to turn around and go to Honolulu.

Eyewitnesses described a gut-churning drop in altitude that slammed passengers and flight attendants into the ceiling.

Linda Woodhouse, an Albertan who is moving to Australia, said people had just begun to wake up and move around when the airplane experienced several seconds of turbulence.

A few moments later, she says, ``the plane just dropped.''

The airline said last night it is arranging hotel accommodations and meals for passengers.