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36 People Hurt, 11 Seriously, as Turbulence Rocks a Flight to Hawaii


“There was no warning of this particular patch of air,” he said.

The seatbelt sign was on on the time, but a few of those that were injured didn’t have their seatbelts on, Mr. Snook said. The National Transportation Safety Board can be investigating, he said.

“We’re going to need to look back on the investigation to know other than the seatbelt sign being on, what other measures were taken,” he added.

Thomas Vaughan, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Honolulu, said there had been a weather advisory posted for thunderstorms on the time of the turbulence.

“Possibly, they flew right into a thunderstorm,” he said.

Kaylee Reyes, a passenger on flight HA35, told Hawaii News Now that the turbulence had come out of nowhere, causing her mother, who had her seatbelt unbuckled, to be tossed up and hit the ceiling of the aircraft cabin.

In recent times, other passengers have handled similarly frightening turbulence that resulted in injuries onboard. In 2019, 30 people were treated for injuries at Kennedy International Airport in Recent York when a flight hit severe turbulence. In 2015, 21 passengers aboard an Air Canada flight were injured when sudden and intense turbulence threw passengers out of their seats.

Jim Ireland, the director of the Honolulu Emergency Services Department, said on the news conference that it was “fortunate that there have been not any deaths or other critical injuries.”

“It’s the vacations, everybody’s trying to come back here for vacation or come back home,” he said. “It’s generally a time when persons are blissful. And so this is clearly something that they didn’t plan for of their journey here.”

Livia Albeck-Ripka contributed reporting.

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