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 a social media. A spokeswoman for the Honolulu emergency services department was not able to immediately provide details about the passengers' injuries.
"We hit turbulence and we all hit the roof and everything fell down, and stuff. people went flying, " passenger Jess Smith told CBC News.
The airline says Flight AC33, which made a scheduled stopover in Vancouver Wednesday night, was about two hours past Hawaii over the Pacific Ocean when the conditions triggered a turnaround and resulted in 35 injuries.
"A lot of screaming, the girl in front of me hit the plastic overhead and actually snapped it and broke it and the oxygen mask came down", one passenger told Today.
"There was no warning and then half of them, their head hit the roof all at once", he said.
Luke Wheeldon told the Honolulu news station KTIV about half the passengers had not been wearing seatbelts.
The Air Canada flight was completing a standard route from Toronto to Sydney.
In a statement Air Canada said that the injuries were considered minor and that medical personnel were examining the passengers.
The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 metres) about 600 miles (966 kilometres) southwest of Honolulu, said US Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.