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Passengers use emergency slides after landing in Honolulu

Passengers use emergency slides after landing in Honolulu Photo: Bernal Saborio / CC BY-SA 2.0 / MGN

Updated: August 22, 2019 08:28 PM

Seven people were taken to the hospital Thursday after smoke filled the cabin of a Hawaiian Airlines flight from California to Hawaii.

Hawaiian Airlines says 184 passengers and seven crew members used evacuation slides to get off the plane after it declared an in-flight emergency and landed in Honolulu.

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Jon Snook, Hawaiian Airlines chief operating officer, said smoke was first detected on Hawaiian Airlines Flight 47 from Oakland, California, about 20 minutes prior to landing as the plane began to descend.

American Medical Response spokesman James Ireland said a total of 11 patients had breathing complaints and seven were taken to the hospital with respiratory problems.

Ireland said the youngest patient taken to the hospital was a 9-month-old. He said another older child was also taken to the hospital and the rest were adults. All injuries were considered minor.

One person was examined at the scene for injuries sustained during the evacuation.

Snook said the source of the smoke is not yet known but there was visible smoke in the cabin and a smoke indication in the cargo hold set off a warning in the cockpit, which prompted the emergency landing. He said there were no visible flames anywhere on the plane.

An automatic fire suppression system was activated in the cargo hold, Snook said.

He said smoke was still prevalent in the cabin after the plane landed, which is why the passengers were ordered to use the slides to evacuate the aircraft.

Shuttles took passengers, who left their luggage behind, to a staging area at the airport. Snook said Hawaiian Airlines is refunding passengers for the cost of their round trip tickets and will give passengers a voucher for future travel.

Snook said the National Transportation Safety Board will be notified and conduct an investigation. The Federal Aviation Administration will also investigate, said spokesman Allen Kenitzer.

Firefighters said it took the passengers just 30 to 45 seconds to exit the aircraft. A few had only minor bruises from coming down the slides, indicating the evacuation was orderly, said Glenn Mitchell, the airport's fire chief.

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Credits

Associated Press

(Copyright 2019 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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