When it comes to flying, sometimes you can expect the unexpected. A Hawaiian Airlines jet with 191 people onboard was evacuated after smoke filled the cabin forcing the pilots to make an emergency landing. While the cause of smoke arising from the cargo hold has not been detected, most of the passengers suffered from minor respiratory concerns. 7 passengers were majorly affected and were sent to a local hospital on landing.
Smoke in cockpit and cabin
Passengers on a Hawaiian Airlines flight 47 from Oakland, California, to Honolulu had to deplane on the runway after smoke arose from the aircraft’s cargo area. Thick white smoke started filling the cabin 20 minutes before the plane’s arrival at Honolulu. The smoke indicator in the cargo hold set off a warning in the cockpit, prompting the pilot for emergency landing. As an automatic fire suppression system was activated in the cargo hold, it did not lead to major fire break out. Moreover, no oxygen masks were deployed to passengers. Perhaps, the crew didn’t wanted to pump oxygen into the aircraft to avoid fire breaking out. The plane’s emergency slides were deployed for the evacuation. According to firefighters, the passengers took just 30 to 45 seconds to exit the aircraft. Also, when the Hawaiian Airlines jet landed, it didn’t appear to be on fire. No sign of smoke or fire was visible from outside the aircraft.
On landing, five adults and two children with smoke-related symptoms were taken to hospitals. The youngest patient taken to the hospital was a 9-month-old. Others complained of bumps and minor bruises that required only first aid treatment. However, shuttle buses took passengers to the airport’s terminal area. As halon was used in the cargo hold, it took some time to get luggage back to the passengers.
Hawaiian Airlines apologizes and refunds fares
Later, the airline officials detected that a seal had failed in the aircraft’s left engine, causing oil to leak onto the plane’s engine and air conditioning pressurization system, resulting in smoke in the cabin. Luckily, the performance of the engine was not affected and the Airbus A321neo flight successfully landed without incident on runway 4R. However, the Hawaiian Airlines has apologized to all its passengers and has announced to refund tickets and to offer vouchers for future travel.