A Hawaiian Airlines commercial airliner encountered severe and extreme turbulence, resulting in 36 injuries.
Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35 departed Phoenix, Arizona, for Honolulu, Hawaii, on Sunday. Approximately 30 minutes before landing in Honolulu, the airline encountered severe turbulence.
Flight passenger Kaylee Reyes shared with Hawaii News Now that passengers were thrown from their seats without warning.
The outlet reports that her mother had just sat down before buckling her seatbelt. During the high-altitude incident, the “fasten seatbelt” alert was active. “She flew up and hit the ceiling,” Reyes told Hawaii News Now.
According to passenger Jazmin Bitanga, “My life flashed before my eyes. I was scared.”
According to her, the sudden descent caused a water bottle to fly into the ceiling and crack. According to her, she saw people bleeding and bracing themselves. There were people who were emotional and crying.
During the flight, the aircraft experienced two intense drops.
As a result of the air incident, emergency personnel responded to what was believed to be a “mass casualty emergency” at Daniel K. Inouye International Airport. A triage center had been established before the plane landed.
The Airbus A330 was at capacity with 278 passengers, two pilots, and eight flight attendants. It included three flight attendants who were injured.
A total of 36 people were injured, of whom 20 were transported to two local hospitals for emergency care. Eleven passengers were in serious condition, whereas nine were in stable condition. Among those injured and transported to the hospital was a 14-month-old child.
The Honolulu EMS reported lacerations, bruising, and loss of consciousness among head injuries.
During a press conference, Honolulu Emergency Services Department Director Jim Ireland discussed the air travel incident. He said one person had been knocked unconscious. Ireland reports that ten passengers complained of nausea and vomiting.
A Hawaii Airlines spokesperson said, “We are supporting all affected passengers & employees and are continuing to monitor the situation.”
Jon Snook, Hawaiian Air’s Vice President, and Chief Operating Officer, said, “Sometimes, these air pockets occur with no warning. It’s rare to have that level of extreme turbulence. It was a very extreme case of mid-air turbulence.”
The National Weather Service speculated that the flight may have been affected by turbulence caused by a thunderstorm.