36 people injured after 'severe turbulence' on Hawaiian Airlines flight
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Featured Image Credit: @meanhawaii/Instagram/Trevisan Aviation Images / Alamy Stock Photo
A number of people were left seriously injured when their flight was suddenly struck by serious turbulence.
Hawaiian Airlines flight 35 was about 30 minutes away from touching down in Honolulu, Hawaii after taking off from Phoenix, Arizona when the plane got into difficulties.
The plane was up at about 36,000 feet when it hit a pocket of unstable air, which spelled trouble for passengers without their seat belts buckled and sent unsecured items flying.
In total, 36 people aboard the flight suffered injuries from the bout of turbulence, with 20 people being taken to hospital once the plane landed in Honolulu.
Of those injured, 11 people were said to be 'seriously injured' and three people who were injured were part of the plane crew in addition to all the passengers who suffered injuries.
One of the passengers who was injuried and received treatment was a 14-month-old baby.
According to KHON 2, injuries sustained by people on the flight included lacerations and bruises, while one passenger had a serious head injury and someone lost consciousness during the turbulence.
The plane, an Airbus 330, was carrying 278 passengers and 10 crew members divided into two pilots and eight flight attendants.
Hawaiian Airlines addressed the incident which occurred on Sunday (18 December) in a statement.
They said: "Hawaiian Airlines is continuing to support the 17 passengers and three crew members who sustained injuries today after Flight 35 from Phoenix to Honolulu encountered severe turbulence."
Jon Snook, Hawaiian Airlines Chief Operating Officer, told people: "Injuries occur because the aircraft goes down and if you don't have your seat belt on, you stay where you are."
Fortunately, the pilots were able to successfully land the plane without further incident, allowing the injured to receive the treatment they needed.
Images from inside the plane shared on social media revealed that parts of the cabin interior had become cracked and damaged due to the collisions involved with the turbulent flight.
Turbulence is one of those risks involved with air travel and it's just no fun at all for anyone involved, especially those passengers who might have gone for a hot drink.
Having your flight get stuck in rough weather can make it a difficult ride for everyone involved, as some flights have had passengers 'throwing up and hyperventilating' as their plane has come into land.
Don't worry if you're about to step on a flight and you've just read this as, statistically speaking, it's still the safest way to travel.