(CNN) - At least 35 passengers were wounded when an Air Canada flight on its way to Sydney encountered severe turbulence, the airline said.
After leaving Vancouver on Thursday, Air Canada flight 33 was forced to land at the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu, the airline said.
"We just hit turbulence pretty quick. Lots of people hit the ceiling, lots of screaming," passenger Michael Bailey told CNN affiliate KHNL/KGMB.
The flight, which was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, was about two hours past Hawaii when it hit "unforecasted and sudden turbulence," the airline said.
The plane was flying at 36,000 feet and was approximately 600 miles southwest of Honolulu during the incident, said Ian Gregor, a spokesman with the Federal Aviation Administration.
"Our first priority is always the safety of our flights, passengers and crew and as a precaution, medical personnel are on standby to examine passengers in Honolulu," the airline said in a statement.