Thursday, January 10, 2008

Air Canada turbulence incident injures 10

Early this morning, and Air Canada Flight AC190 with 83 passengers and five crew on board experienced a serious turbulence incident during a scheduled domestic flight between Victoria, BC and Toronto. The A319 aircraft diverted to Calgary for an emergency landing shortly after the incident. Ten people, including two crew members, were hospitalized in Calgary with what have been described as "non-life-threatening" injuries. My understanding is that both crew members who were injured were flight attendants, although this has not been officially confirmed at this time.

Various news reports about the incident, quoting passengers who were on board the flight, indicated that the incident occurred without warning and was particularly violent. Reuters reports:

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."
An article about the incident in the Toronto Star quoted a passenger who praised the cabin crew, saying, "The flight attendants were amazing, because a lot of them were injured themselves so they had cuts and were trying to dab blood out of their eyes."

A statement about the incident on Flight AC190 on the Air Canada website this afternoon said, "... Of the ten individuals transferred to hospital with non-life threatening injuries, at this time seven have now been released. The remaining two passengers and one flight attendant in hospital are in stable condition. Other passengers are continuing their onward travel."

Best wishes for a speedy to all those who were injured.

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