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Passengers on a Hawaiian Airlines flight were sent flying out of their seats, according to witnesses

At least 36 people received injuries after a flight from Phoenix, Arizona to Honolulu, Hawaii encountered severe turbulence on Sunday, the emergencies services have said.

Twenty people on the Hawaiian Airlines flight required hospitalization, and 11 of them are in serious condition, according to the Honolulu Emergency Medical Services. Among those wounded are a 14-month-old child and three flight attendants.

The injuries suffered by the victims include head trauma, lacerations, bruising, and loss of consciousness. “We feel fortunate that there were not any deaths,” Honolulu EMS chief Jim Ireland said.

The Airbus 330, with 278 passengers and 10 crew members aboard, was hit by severe turbulence 15 to 30 minutes before touchdown in Hawaii’s capital and largest city. Despite the incident, the plane landed safely, with paramedics and rescuers already waiting on the ground.

Witnesses said the turbulence sent some of the passengers flying out of their seats.

The seatbelt sign was on at the time of the incident, but some of those who were injured had not been buckled up, Hawaiian Airlines Chief Operating Officer Jon Snook said. “If you don’t have your seatbelt on, you stay where you are as the aircraft goes down and that’s how those injuries occur.”

The plane received some internal damage and will undergo a thorough check and maintenance before returning to the air, Snook stated. The airline has not experienced “an incident of this nature in recent history,” he added.

The US Federal Aviation Administration has launched an investigation into what happened on the flight.

Operating since 1929, Hawaiian Airlines is one of the oldest carriers in the US, and has never had a fatal accident or hull loss in its history.

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