At least 36 people were injured, including 11 seriously, Sunday after a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu encountered severe turbulence about 30 minutes before landing.
According to testimonies, the turbulence caused some passengers to fly out of their seats and at least one hit the roof.
Paramedics and EMTs treated the patients, ranging in age from 14 months to adults, for a long list of injuries, including severe head lacerations, bruises and unconsciousness.
#BREAKING: At least 36 people were injured, including 11 seriously, Sunday after a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix to Honolulu hit severe turbulence about 30 minutes before landing. MORE: https://t.co/fzQdz7rJgD #HNN pic.twitter.com/JbVFEG16ox— Hawaii News Now (@HawaiiNewsNow) December 18, 2022
Hawaiian Airlines said Phoenix Flight 35 “landed safely” in Honolulu around 10:50 am The Airbus A330 was carrying 278 passengers and 10 crew members. The FAA said the injured included passengers and crew. “The airline is supporting all affected passengers and employees,” an airline spokesperson said.
Shortly before the aircraft landed, dozens of firefighters, paramedics and the State Aircraft Rescue Fire Fighting Team were called to the airport for the “mass casualty emergency.”
Of the injured, 20 people were taken to emergency rooms and 11 were in serious condition and nine in stable condition , Honolulu EMS Director Dr. Jim Ireland said.
“Although we initially thought there were some critically injured patients, after further assessment it turned out they weren't that badly injured, which was great,” Ireland said.
The National Weather Service said the severe turbulence occurred at about 36,000 feet.
“We believe the flight may have gone through a thunderstorm, which may have caused the severe turbulence,” said NWS meteorologist Genki Kino. “During that time, there were scattered thunderstorms everywhere.”