December 31, 2015 9:33 am
Updated: December 31, 2015 9:51 pm

AC088 lands in Toronto after turbulence sends 21 people to Calgary hospital

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TORONTO – A plane diverted to Calgary due to severe and violent turbulence that left 21 people injured has landed at its final destination in Toronto.

Air Canada Flight AC088 landed at 2 a.m. ET at Pearson International Airport.

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Global News

The flight, which originated in Shanghai and was on its way to Toronto, was forced to land in Alberta at 3:23 p.m. MT Wednesday. Twenty-one passengers, including three children, were taken to hospital for treatment in Calgary. Air Canada officials said in a statement that eight people had non-life threatening injuries, and 13 of them were simply under observation.

The airline told Global News Thursday all but three of the 21 passengers taken to hospital have since been released, and those needing further treatment will be released once they receive doctor approval.

Air Canada said about 50 passengers stayed overnight in Calgary, and “all but a few” would continue to their final destination Thursday.

Officials from the Transportation and Safety Board told Global News it deployed investigators Wednesday night to the Calgary airport to “assess the incident.” An investigation is underway that includes looking at weather conditions, age of the aircraft, and skill of the pilots. An update is expected from the TSB later on Thursday.

Passengers described a terrifying experience, where people who were not wearing seat-belts went flying.

“Honestly, we thought we were dying,” said passenger Connie Gelber,

“Like you see in the movies, where they all go up to the ceiling, everything went up to the ceiling that wasn’t anchored.”

WATCH: Connie Gelber explains the terrifying moments aboard Air Canada flight 088.

Air Canada posted an official statement on their website last night saying they were focusing on the passengers who were injured.

“I would like to acknowledge the flight crew of AC088 whose care and professionalism has been recognized by other passengers,” wrote Klaus Goersch, Executive Vice President of Air Canada, “and I would like to thank our employees on the ground in Calgary and at other stations for their important contributions in response.”

The plane, a Boeing 777-300ER, had 332 passengers and 19 crew members.

With files from Global’s Cindy Pom

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