Passengers slammed off aircraft ceiling in turbulent Air Canada flight

1 / 3
Passengers of the Air Canada AC 33 flight, which diverted to Hawaii after turbulence, are seen inside the plane at Honolulu airport, Hawaii, U.S., July 11, 2019 in this image obtained from social media. (Reuters)
2 / 3
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 social media. (Reuters)
3 / 3
Updated 12 July 2019
0

Passengers slammed off aircraft ceiling in turbulent Air Canada flight

  • The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, according to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick

HONOLULU: Intense turbulence struck an Air Canada flight to Australia on Thursday and sent unbuckled passengers flying into the ceiling, leaving about 35 people with minor injuries and forcing the plane to land in Hawaii.
The flight from Vancouver to Sydney encountered “un-forecasted and sudden turbulence,” about two hours past Hawaii when the plane diverted to Honolulu, leaving approximately 35 people with minor injuries, Air Canada spokeswoman Angela Mah said in a statement.
“The plane just dropped,” passenger Stephanie Beam told The Associated Press. “When we hit turbulence, I woke up and looked over to make sure my kids were buckled. The next thing I knew there’s just literally bodies on the ceiling of the plane.”
A woman behind her hit the ceiling so hard that she broke the casing of an oxygen mask, said Beam, of Colorado Springs, Colorado.
Emergency responders met the plane at the gate. Honolulu Emergency Services Department spokeswoman Shayne Enright said injuries included cuts, bumps, bruises, neck pain and back pain. More than two dozen people were taken to hospitals, she said.
“I watched a whole bunch of people hit the ceiling of the plane,” said another passenger Alex MacDonald. “A couple of the air hostesses were bringing food out at the time, and they hit the roof as well.”
Passenger Luke Wheeldon told Honolulu news station KTIV about half the passengers weren’t wearing seatbelts.
“There was no warning and then half of them, their head hit the roof all at once,” he said. “And I went, ‘Oh, this is a bad day.’“
Babies and children were crying as crew members went through the cabin assessing injuries. About 15 minutes later, there was an announcement asking for passengers who are medical professionals to help, Beam said.
The turbulence happened at 36,000 feet (10,973 meters) about 600 miles (966 kilometers) southwest of Honolulu, said US Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor.
The Boeing 777-200 was carrying 269 passengers and 15 crew members, according to Air Canada spokesman Peter Fitzpatrick.
Air Canada was arranging hotel accommodations and meals in Honolulu and options for resuming the flight.
“If we’re going to be stuck somewhere, I can think of worse places,” said Beam, traveling with her 10- and 11-year-old children.


Former militant Tania Joya now fights to ‘reprogram’ extremists

Updated 11 min 39 sec ago
0

Former militant Tania Joya now fights to ‘reprogram’ extremists

  • Tania Joya grew up confronted by racism and the struggles of integration
  • ‘It’s really important to de-radicalize them, rehabilitate’ these people

WASHINGTON: Tania Joya has devoted her life to “reprogramming” extremists and reintroducing them into society — a process she understands well as a “former Islamic militant” herself.
“My aim is for them to feel a sense of remorse and to train them so that they can be good citizens once they are released from prison, so they can adjust to society,” Joya said during a visit to Washington, to present a project on preventing extremist violence.
Born in 1984 near London to a Muslim Bangladeshi family, Joya grew up confronted by racism and the struggles of integration. She radicalized at age 17, after the September 11 terror attacks in New York and Osama bin Laden’s call for a global jihad.
In 2004, she married an American Muslim-convert, Yahya Al-Bahrumi (born John Georgelas). She began advocating for an Islamic state, for which her three children would be soldiers.
But in 2013, her husband took her and their children against her will to northwestern Syria to join militant insurgents. Joya reported her husband to US authorities and, after three weeks, fled Syria to the United States.
Joya settled in Texas, her husband’s home state. There, she changed her life, divorced and re-married.
Yahya, her first husband, joined the Daesh group, which would soon control large swathes of territory in Syria and Iraq. He was in charge of the group’s English-language propaganda, and Joya said he became the “highest-ranking American” in the Daesh group.
He died in 2017 during fighting in Mayadin, in northern Syria, as the so-called Daesh “caliphate” crumbled.
However, this created a new problem — Western militants or their spouses and children wanting to come home.
Joya realized that she had something to offer. “It’s really important to de-radicalize them, rehabilitate” these people, she said.
“It’s reprogramming them and giving them a sense of hope in the political process.”
It’s also important to “get them to understand the psychology and the patterns... what led them to extremism,” understanding “the rejection many in the US and Europe faced growing up there, the cultural conflict, the crisis they went through,” she said.
“Once it’s all explained to them, very logically, they will accept it just as I did.”
Joya favors repatriating foreign rebels from the Middle East so they can be judged in their countries of origin.
While that is the US policy, many European countries such as France are wary of taking in the militants.
In May and June, 11 French nationals were sentenced to die in Iraq for their affiliation to Daesh.
Joya has campaigned for the return of Shamima Begum, who joined the militant group when she was just 15 but now wants to return home to Britain. However, Begum’s lack of remorse has turned public opinion against her, and the British government stripped her of her citizenship in February.
Kurdish-run camps in northeast Syria have taken in some 12,000 foreign fighters from 40 different countries, including 4,000 women and 8,000 children whose fathers are militants.
Countries with militants stranded in refugee camps “are responsible for these individuals,” said Joya. “We can’t just push them off to the Middle East, to the Kurdish people... the abuses they’re facing in these camps are only confirming their beliefs of radicalization.”
Joya is participating in the Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE) program organized by the Clarion Program, a US non-profit dedicated to educating people “about the growing phenomenon of Islamic extremism,” according to its website.
The PVE program provides “communication models” that offer “workshops for youth so that before a child is even indoctrinated or introduced to radical ideologies, they’ve really been inoculated” against religious and ideological extremism, said national program coordinator Shireen Qudosi.
“That goes from gangs, to radical ideologies: antifa, neo-Nazi groups, Islamist extremism,” she said.