This past Sunday, groups of first responders stated that a case of severe turbulence caused some very serious injuries to 11 people and lesser injuries to well over a few dozen others on board a flight out of Phoenix slated to land in Honolulu just a half-hour minutes prior to touching down.
As explained to ABC News via a statement from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Hawaiian Airlines Flight 35 was traveling out of Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix and was bound for Daniel K. Inouye International Airport in Honolulu when the plane’s pilots issued a report of extreme turbulence at roughly 10:20 a.m. Hawaii Standard Time Sunday morning.
Officials with Honolulu Emergency Medical Services explained to the Associated Press that first responders were required to carry out treatment to 36 people at the scene with another 20 being quickly transported to local hospitals for additional medical treatment, including a number of serious head injuries, bruises, and cuts — with a number of reports stating that a few passengers had even been knocked entirely unconscious.
The youngest patient given treatment due to the flight was just 14 months old.
Officials for the agency stated that a group of eleven people had been marked as in serious condition, and nine were marked as in stable condition at hospitals.
One spokesperson for the airline explained to media outlets in the area that “the airline is supporting all affected passengers and employees.”
Area media outlets issued a report stating that the National Weather Service had spoken out about the severe turbulence which had taken place at an altitude of roughly 36,000 feet.
“We believe the flight may have gone through a thunderstorm, which may have caused the severe turbulence,” stated Genki Kino, a meteorologist for the NWS. “During that time, there were scattered thunderstorms everywhere.”
One passenger, Kaylee Reyes, explained to local media outlets that the entire ordeal took place just as he mother had returned to her seat but before she had a chance to buckle her seatbelt.
“She flew up and hit the ceiling,” explained Reyes.
#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
As stated by ABC News, the airline explained that the plane was carrying a full complement of over 278 passengers with a crew of ten members on board at the time.