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At least 36 people have been injured – with some knocked unconscious – in a ‘mass emergency’ onboard a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Arizona after it encountered severe turbulence. 

Passengers were thrown out of their seats on Sunday during the flight from Phoenix to to Honolulu – and it’s believed 11 people were seriously hurt, including several children and a 14-month-old baby.

People onboard including passengers and flight attendants working on Flight 35 sustained a variety of injuries, including serious head injuries, cuts and bruises when they crashed on to the plane’s ceiling.

It has been reported that some passengers were knocked unconscious during the ordeal – and one person suffered a broken neck because of the severity of the turbulence. 

One Twitter user posted video of some of the damage done to the roof of the cabin which appear to have been smashed into as people hit the ceiling as the plane suddenly dropped

One Twitter user posted video of some of the damage done to the roof of the cabin which appear to have been smashed into as people hit the ceiling as the plane suddenly dropped

Footage taken inside the cabin shows parts of the interior of plane were damaged with oxygen masks falling from the ceiling. Some passengers are said to have been lifted out of their seats  during the turbulence

Footage taken inside the cabin shows parts of the interior of plane were damaged with oxygen masks falling from the ceiling. Some passengers are said to have been lifted out of their seats  during the turbulence 

National Weather Service believes the turbulence may have been caused by the flight passing through a thunderstorm with a cold front bringing strong winds

Emergency services, including firefighters, ambulance crews, and the state Aircraft Rescue Firefighting Team, were called to the airport to respond to the ‘mass casualty emergency’ that occurred around 11am. 

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Of the injured individuals, 20 were taken to the emergency room, with 11 in serious condition and nine in stable condition. 

‘Although initially we thought there were some patients with critical injuries, after further assessment it turns out they weren’t that severely injured, which was great,’ Honolulu EMS Director Dr. Jim Ireland said.

One passenger took to social media following the ordeal, calling it the ‘scariest flying experience’ they had ever endured.

They said that there were people on board who suffered a broken neck during the chaotic turbulence.  

Twitter user lynnxxy said, posting a video inside the cabin the aftermath: ‘Scariest experience flying: very strong turbulence happened mid flight & some ppl with head injuries from hitting the ceiling. I’m safe just very shaken up.

‘Some ppl in the back with broken neck, bleeding on the head & face. I hope they all recover soon as this was a very traumatic event,’ they tweeted.

‘Made it home safe but will be going to the hospital later to check if I have an injury from whiplash or on my waist from the seatbelt when I floated up from my seat a bit,’ they later added. 

Passengers on the flight, who ranged in age from 14 months to adults, sustained a variety of injuries, including serious head injuries, cuts, bruises, and even some were knocked unconscious (file photo)

Passengers on the flight, who ranged in age from 14 months to adults, sustained a variety of injuries, including serious head injuries, cuts, bruises, and even some were knocked unconscious (file photo)

One Twitter user described the encounter as their 'scariest experience flying' and 'traumatic'

One Twitter user described the encounter as their ‘scariest experience flying’ and ‘traumatic’ 

The airline later tweeted a statement explaining what had occurred.

‘HA35 from PHX to HNL encountered severe turbulence & landed safely in HNL at 10:50am today. Medical care was provided to several guests & crewmembers at the airport for minor injuries while some were swiftly transported to local hospitals for further care. 

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‘We are supporting all affected passengers & employees and are continuing to monitor the situation.’ 

Hawaiian Airlines later tweeted a statement explaining what had occurred onboard

Hawaiian Airlines later tweeted a statement explaining what had occurred onboard

A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Honolulu, Hawaii experienced severe turbulence approximately 30 minutes before landing on Sunday, resulting in the injury of at least 36 people, 11 of whom were seriously hurt (file photo)

A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Honolulu, Hawaii experienced severe turbulence approximately 30 minutes before landing on Sunday, resulting in the injury of at least 36 people, 11 of whom were seriously hurt (file photo)

The National Weather Service suggested the severe turbulence may have been caused by the flight passing through a storm, as there were scattered thunderstorms in the area at the time. 

‘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.’ 

The incident occurred while the plane was at cruising altitude at 36,000ft as a strong cold front began to affect the state, bringing the possibility of strong winds, heavy rains, and thunderstorms. 

One passenger, Kaylee Reyes, said the turbulence occurred about half an hour before landing.

Moments earlier, mother had just sat down in her seat and had not yet fastened her seatbelt. 

‘She flew up and hit the ceiling,’ Reyes told Hawaii News Now. 



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