Seven plane passengers in hospital after cabin fills with smoke

Helen Coffey
Long reach: the Airbus A330 used for the world's longest domestic flight: Hawaiian Airlines

A Hawaiian Airlines flight declared an inflight emergency after the plane filled with smoke, resulting in the hospitalisation of seven passengers.

Flight HA47 from Oakland, California, to Honolulu, Hawaii, was carrying 184 passengers and seven crew when the incident occurred, 20 minutes before the aircraft landed safely.

Pictures shared on social media show the entire cabin full of thick smoke and passengers covering their mouths.

Those onboard had to be evacuated by emergency slide once the Airbus A321neo aircraft touched down at 11.36am local time, and were met by first responders.

Seven passengers were transported to local hospitals to be treated for smoke-related symptoms.

Following an investigation, the airline says a seal failed in the aircraft’s left engine, causing oil to leak onto hot parts of the plane’s engine and air conditioning pressurisation system. This resulted in the smoke-filled cabin and cargo hold.

All other passengers and crew were transported to the terminal by bus and reunited with their belongings.

Hawaiian Airlines said in a statement: “We sincerely apologise to passengers for this incident and thank them, as well as first responders and airport officials, for their cooperation and assistance in a swift and safe evacuation. We are conducting a thorough inspection of the aircraft before returning it to service.”

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It follows the news that a plane recently caught fire following an aborted take-off at a small airport in northern California.

All 10 people onboard the private plane, including eight passengers and two pilots, escaped unharmed.

The twin-engine Cessna Citation jet slid off the runway at Oroville Municipal Airport in California after the aborted take-off, reported Associated Press.

It landed in dry grass, which sparked a blaze.

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