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At least 20 people including kids are injured on Hawaiian Airlines flight some knocked unconscious

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At least 20 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 nearing the end of their seven-hour flight from Phoenix to Honolulu on Sunday morning when many were thrown out of their seats. 

At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Jon Snook, the Chief Operating Officer of Hawaiian Airlines confirmed that the seatbelt sign was on at the time. He said it was the ‘worst case of turbulence’ that he had ever encountered during his seven years with the airline. 

It was confirmed that 11 people were seriously hurt, including several children and a 14-month-old baby. Nine others suffered from minor injuries and from those seven decided to take the bus to hospital for further treatment.

Several passengers could be seen wearing neck braces after being slammed into the ceiling of the aircraft in which they were traveling on Sunday morning 

Another passenger could be seen being wheeled out of Honolulu airport wearing a neck brace

Another passenger could be seen being wheeled out of Honolulu airport wearing a neck brace

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

Overhead panels appeared to have fallen from the ceiling of the aircraft with some cracked

Overhead panels appeared to have fallen from the ceiling of the aircraft with some cracked

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

Dozens of ambulances could be seen lining up outside the Honolulu airport arrivals area

Dozens of ambulances could be seen lining up outside the Honolulu airport arrivals area

Emergency services were called to the airport to respond to the 'mass casualty emergency' that occurred around 11am

Emergency services were called to the airport to respond to the ‘mass casualty emergency’ that occurred around 11am

Those hurt onboard included both passengers and three members of the flight crew on Flight 35. Each sustained a variety of injuries, including serious head injuries, cuts and bruises when they crashed into the plane’s ceiling panels and overhead bins. 

One person is believed to have broken their neck due to the severity of the turbulence. 

Footage shot by cellphone from inside the Airbus A330 aircraft show oxygen masks dangling from above with a number of plastic ceiling panels cracked having been smashed into by those onboard.

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. 

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

At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Jon Snook, the Chief Operating Officer of Hawaiian Airlines confirmed that the seatbelt sign was on at the time noting how it was the 'worst case of turbulence' that he had ever encountered during his seven years with the airline

At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Jon Snook, the Chief Operating Officer of Hawaiian Airlines confirmed that the seatbelt sign was on at the time noting how it was the ‘worst case of turbulence’ that he had ever encountered during his seven years with the airline

During Sunday afternoon’s press conference, the airline’s COO, Snook, sounded relieved as he told how all those who were injured will survive

‘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.

During Sunday afternoon’s press conference, the airline’s COO, Snook, sounded relieved as he told how all those who were injured will survive. 

‘Our flying procedures are built to avoid these things at all times and this is obviously an isolated incident. This is very regrettable and associated with the weather pattern that is coming through the islands. We don’t know the specifics of whether it happened during the descent or just before, but the seatbelt sign was on.’

Snook said it was the ‘worst case of turbulence’ in the time he had worked for Hawaiian Airlines but stressed the unexpected nature of the incident. 

‘We fly through difficult weather all the time so it’s unfortunate that this happened today. We will work closely with the NTSB and help them with whatever they need to know.’

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

'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, pictured, said

‘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, pictured, said

Several plastic ceiling panels broke away from the plane's interior with some cracking on impact

Several plastic ceiling panels broke away from the plane’s interior with some cracking on impact

Oxygen masks fell down from up above such was the severity of the turbulence

Oxygen masks fell down from up above such was the severity of the turbulence

Pieces of plastic could be seen on the floor after parts broke free when passengers smashed into them

Pieces of plastic could be seen on the floor after parts broke free when passengers smashed into them

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

Twitter user lynnxxy posted a video from inside the cabin following the sudden turbulence: ‘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. 

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

The airline said the plane was carrying 278 passengers and 10 crewmembers.

Hawaiian Airlines later tweeted a statement explaining what had occurred onboard

Hawaiian Airlines later tweeted a statement explaining what had occurred onboard

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. 

‘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. 

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 20 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 20 people, 11 of whom were seriously hurt (file photo)

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