(FreedomBeacon.com)- Dozens of people were injured after an airplane carrying 278 passengers battled severe turbulence on its way from Phoenix, Arizona to Honolulu, Hawaii. A total of 36 people needed medical attention and 11 were seriously injured, according to The New York Post. The interior of the cabin was left visibly damaged after the incident.
Some passengers suffered cuts, bruises, and head injuries, while others were sick and vomiting. One person had lost consciousness, according to Jim Ireland, Honolulu Emergency Medical Services director. He added that he and the hospital are glad there were not any deaths or other critical injuries.
“We’re also very hopeful that all will recover and make a full recovery,” he said.
10 crew members were among those who were injured and taken to the hospital.
Hawaiian Airlines COO Jon Snook said that the severe turbulence was very rare, noting that the airline has not seen “an incident of this nature in recent history.”
The seatbelt sign was reportedly illumined at the time the turbulence began but not everyone had the time to buckle in. One passenger, Kaylee Reyes, said that she had been with her mother who just sat down after coming back from the restroom. Before her mother could fasten herself in, the turbulence began sending her straight up to the ceiling hitting her head.
The flight was in the path of a thunderstorm advisory issued for areas including Oahu, according to Thomas Vaughan, a meteorologist at the Honolulu outpost of the National Weather Service.
Snook said the airline was aware of the advisory but there appeared to be no danger in the flight’s direct path.
The phenomenon could have been “clear-air turbulence,” the outlet reports, noting that this is the most dangerous type of turbulence because it occurs in clear air near thunderstorms which pilots can fly into without warning.