7 in hospital in Hawaii after smoke fills plane

Marco Green
August 23, 2019

Hawaiian Airlines says seven people have been taken to the hospital with smoke-related symptoms after a flight from Oakland, California, to Honolulu made an emergency landing because of smoke in the airplane.

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 47 was approximately 20 minutes away from scheduled noon landing in Honolulu when emergency was declared.

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 47, an Airbus A321neo flying from Oakland, California, was about 20 minutes away from its scheduled noon landing in Honolulu when an emergency was declared, officials said. Passengers and crew were forced to breathe the smoke-filled air until the jet made an emergency landing and evacuated everyone via inflatable slides. Seven passengers were taken to hospitals.

Passenger Lucky Cara said the cabin filled with smoke "all of a sudden" on approach to Honolulu.

"I was scared. It just kept getting worse and worse, and there were a few people that were crying but they settled down", Cara spoke of the sight, as seen in video footage obtained by Fox News.

Mitchell said all of the passengers were able to get out of the plane in about 30 seconds.

Glenn Mitchell, the airport's fire chief, said during a news conference that most passengers were suffering from minor respiratory concerns and that a few others complained of bumps and bruises that did not require hospital treatment.

Shuttles took passengers, who left their luggage behind, to a staging area at the airport.

As for technicalities, Jon Snook, Hawaiian Airlines' chief operating officer, said that there was no active fire anywhere on the plane during the emergency.

The smoke buildup happened because oil was leaking "onto hot parts of the plane's engine and air conditioning pressurization system", according to a statement released by the airline, which blamed the leak on a failed seal.

He said "the performance of the engine was not affected".

Airline officials issued an apology online to the passengers.

The airline said passengers on board the plane would get a full refund of their round-trip ticket along with a travel voucher.

Snook thanked the crew and passengers for evacuating in an orderly way "in what could have been a complex and unsafe situation".

Snook said the National Transportation Safety Board will be notified and conduct an investigation.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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