Severe turbulence forced an Air Canada flight headed from Shanghai to Toronto to land in Calgary on Wednesday, December 30, 2015.

Eight passengers reportedly have sustained serious injuries to their heads, backs, necks and chests, and were taken away on stretchers and wheelchairs by emergency crews.

“We assessed a total of 25 that had been aboard the aircraft that were identified as potential patients. In the end we transported 21, 18 of those were adults, 3 were children,” said Stuart Brideaux of Calgary EMS.

Inside the plane, air masks are hanging from the ceiling and debris litters the floor. Passengers said the incident was terrifying.

“The phones were wrecked. The girl beside me was thrown right out of her seat down the aisle. Everyone was injured. We thought we were dying. Even the steward never in any of their years had seen anything like it," said passenger Connie Gelber. “It was the flight from hell.  It was frightening.  Honestly we didn’t know if we were going to live or die on that flight. You see this in the movies. This was real life.”

Flight AC88 left Shanghai at about 5 am Calgary time heading for Toronto's Pearson International Airport. After hitting heavy turbulence, the plane was forced to land in Calgary at about 3:15 pm.

The plane is a Boeing 777-330ER carrying 332 passengers and 19 crew members.