CALGARY — Passengers needed to be taken from a jet strapped to back boards after an overseas flight to Toronto encountered turbulence Wednesday and diverted to Calgary.
Several stretchers were needed to transport people from the Air Canada Boeing 777 through the Calgary airport terminal to waiting ambulances.
Some had their necks stabilized with towels and medical tape. Others were sitting upright. One person had a towel over their face.
Air Canada spokeswoman Isabelle Arthur said flight AC088 hit turbulence on en route to Toronto from Shanghai. A website that track air-traffic control data showed the plane changed course over northern British Columbia.
"While Air Canada can confirm that there were some injuries due to turbulence encountered en route requiring hospitalization for assessment, an exact number is not available at this time," Arthur wrote in an email Wednesday.
A Calgary Fire Department spokeswoman said they were told up to 20 people were injured. A spokesman for Emergency Medical Services, Stuart Brideaux, said none of the injuries was life threatening.
The flight was carrying 332 passengers and 19 crew members.
Ambulances lined up in front of the terminal, ready to ferry patients away.
The airport authority was to release more details on the situation Wednesday evening.