Nearly a dozen people were seriously injured when a flight to Hawaii was rocked by severe turbulence on Sunday about 30 minutes outside Honolulu, an emergency response agency said.
Eleven people on the Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix were taken to multiple emergency rooms in serious condition, and nine others were transported in stable condition, the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services said in a statement. A call about the episode came in shortly after 11 a.m.
Responders treated 36 people, the agency said. Of those, 20 people were transported for further medical treatment, the youngest of whom was 14 months old. The agency said the wounds included a serious head injury, lacerations, bruising and loss of consciousness.
Passenger Kaylee Reyes told Hawaii News Now that her mother had just sat down when the turbulence hit, and did not have a chance to buckle her safety belt.
“She flew up and hit the ceiling,” Reyes said.
Hawaiian Airlines in a statement said 13 passengers and three crew members were taken to area hospitals for further care. The airline said the plane was carrying 278 passengers and 10 crewmembers, and landed safely in Honolulu about 10:50 a.m.
The differing number of injuries could not immediately be reconciled. The airline said it plans to hold a news conference later Sunday.
Thomas Vaughan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said there had been a weather advisory out for thunderstorms that included Oahu and areas that would have included the flight path at the time of the incident.