Ten injured in rough ride on Air Canada flight from Victoria

« I can’t describe the screaming. No movie does it justice. There was a lot of screaming — a lot of crying. »


Passengers screamed and hit the ceiling as Air Canada Flight 190 plunged thousands of metres through the sky yesterday during 15 seconds of terror that became the longest moments in Liam King’s life.

"It was really quick, it was over really fast but it felt like an eternity," said King, a passenger on board the aircraft en route to Toronto from Victoria that was forced to make an emergency landing in Calgary when the jet bucked in midair.

The plane was carrying 83 passengers and five crew members. Barely 20 minutes into the flight, the pilot told passengers the computer had malfunctioned and the crew was forced to fly the plane manually.

Then without notice, the airplane began pitching and tilting, tossing passengers and crew from side to side.

"I thought that was the end of everything," said passenger Nisha Gill, describing looking at her two-year-old daughter during those terrifying moments.

She was on her way from Victoria with her daughter to visit her sister in Toronto. "We were just praying it would land properly."

Jayne Harvey, 45, a nurse, said she thought she was going to die.

"I can’t describe the screaming. No movie does it justice. There was a lot of screaming — a lot of crying," Harvey said.

Some of the passengers had gripped their armrests so tightly they were bent 60 degrees.

Ten people, including two crew members, were treated at Calgary hospitals for a range of minor injuries and released.

Dr. Rob Abernethy, associate chief medical officer for the Calgary Health Region, said most injuries were orthopedic.

What caused the aircraft to plunge so suddenly is still unknown. The Transportation Safety Board and Air Canada have both launched investigations.

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