Passengers slammed off aircraft ceiling in turbulent Air Canada flight

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Passengers of the Air Canada AC 33 flight, which diverted to Hawaii after turbulence, are seen inside the plane at Honolulu airport, Hawaii, U.S., July 11, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. (Reuters)
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Emergency workers assist passengers of Air Canada AC 33 flight, which diverted to Hawaii after turbulence, at Honolulu airport, Hawaii, U.S., July 11, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. (Reuters)
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Updated 12 July 2019
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Passengers slammed off aircraft ceiling in turbulent Air Canada flight

  • The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, according to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick

HONOLULU: Intense turbulence struck an Air Canada flight to Australia on Thursday and sent unbuckled passengers flying into the ceiling, leaving about 35 people with minor injuries and forcing the plane to land in Hawaii.
The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered “un-forecasted and sudden turbulence,” about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu, leaving approximately 35 people with minor injuries, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement.
“The plane just dropped,” passenger Stephanie Beam told The Associated Press. “When we hit turbulence, I woke up and looked over to make sure my kids were buckled. The next thing I knew there’s just literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane.”
A woman behind her hit the ceiling so hard that she broke the casing of an oxygen mask, said Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Emergency responders met the plane at the gate. Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain. More than two dozen people were taken to hospitals, she said.
“I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane,” said another passenger Alex MacDonald. “A couple of the air hostesses were bringing food out at the time, and they hit the roof as well.”
Passenger Luke Wheeldon told Honolulu news station KTIV about half the passengers weren’t wearing seatbelts.
“There was no warning and then half of them, their head hit the roof all at once,” he said. “And I went, ‘Oh, this is a bad day.’“
Babies and children were crying as crew members went through the cabin assessing injuries. About 15 minutes later, there was an announcement asking for passengers who are medical professionals to help, Beam said.
The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 meters) about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, said US Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, according to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.
Air Canada was arranging hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu and options for resuming the flight.
“If we’re going to be stuck somewhere, I can think of worse places,” said Beam, traveling with her 10- and 11-year-old children.


Voting closing in race to become UK’s new prime minister

Updated 22 July 2019
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Voting closing in race to become UK’s new prime minister

  • Members of the governing Conservative Party had until 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) to return postal ballots in the contest between Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to lead the party

LONDON: Voting was closing Monday in the race to become Britain’s next prime minister, as critics of likely winner Boris Johnson condemned his vow to take Britain out of the European Union with or without a divorce deal.
Members of the governing Conservative Party had until 5 p.m. (1600 GMT) to return postal ballots in the contest between Johnson and Jeremy Hunt to lead the party.
The winner will be announced Tuesday, and will take over as the nation’s leader from Prime Minister Theresa May the following day.
Johnson, a populist former mayor of London, is the strong favorite.
Several members of May’s government have said they will resign before they can be fired by Johnson over their opposition to his threat to go through with a no-deal Brexit if he can’t secure a renegotiated settlement with the EU.
Most economists say quitting the 28-nation bloc without a deal would cause Britain economic turmoil. The UK’s official economic watchdog has forecast that a no-deal Brexit would trigger a recession, with the pound plummeting in value, borrowing soaring by 30 billion pounds ($37 billion) and the economy shrinking 2% in a year.
Former Labour Prime Minister Gordon Brown said Monday that a no-deal Brexit would be “an act of economic self-harm that runs wholly counter to the national interest.”
EU leaders insist they won’t reopen the 585-page withdrawal agreement they made with May’s government, which has been repeatedly rejected by Britain’s Parliament.
Foreign Office Minister Alan Duncan quit Monday, lamenting in his resignation letter that “we have had to spend every day working beneath the dark cloud of Brexit.”
Other government ministers, including Treasury chief Philip Hammond, are set to resign on Wednesday.
The new prime minister will preside over a House of Commons in which most members oppose leaving the EU without a deal, and where the Conservative Party lacks an overall majority.
Opposition parties are preparing for an early election which could be triggered if the government loses a no-confidence vote in the coming months.
The centrist Liberal Democrats, who have seen a surge in support thanks to their strongly anti-Brexit stance, were set to declare the winner of their own leadership contest on Monday.