A Canada-bound plane has been forced to make an emergency landing after being hit by severe turbulence.
Some 21 passengers, including three children, were injured on board the Air Canada flight AC088 from Shanghai to Toronto, with the aircraft diverted to Calgary after the turbulence hit.
“Our focus today has been on those passengers who have been injured in this incident and those other passengers on the aircraft for whom this has been a very unsettling experience,” said Klaus Goersch, chief operating officer at Air Canada.
“Safety is always our first priority and so any incident involving the safety of our passengers and crew is of utmost concern.
“I would like to acknowledge the flight crew of AC088 whose care and professionalism has been recognised by other passengers and I would like to thank our employees on the ground in Calgary and at other stations for their important contributions in response
“I would also like to thank the various agencies in Calgary who responded to this incident quickly and professionally.
“Their actions in helping us take care of our customers is deeply appreciated.
“We are grateful that the first passengers are already being released from hospital.”
Flight AC088 landed in Calgary at 15:23 MT.
The Boeing 777-300ER was carrying 332 passengers and 19 crew members.
Passengers and crew were immediately met by Air Canada teams and examined by medical personnel.
Twenty-one passengers were transferred directly to local hospitals from the airport comprising eight with non-life threatening injuries and 13 for observation.
Air Canada is making arrangements to accommodate all passengers including those continuing on to Toronto.
Air Canada is cooperating fully with the Transportation Safety Board in its investigation of this incident.