Passengers in smoke-filled cabin recall last 30 min. on Honolulu-bound flight

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HONOLULU (KHON2) — There were 184 passengers and seven crew onboard Hawaiian Airlines flight 47 from Oakland to Honolulu on Thursday, Aug. 22.

Passengers tell KHON2 that prior to landing, there was an in-flight emergency.

They say that during the emergency, many were surprisingly calm.

A tense and frightening moment caught on camera. Smoke quickly filled the cargo hold, cabin, and cockpit of Hawaiian Airlines Flight 47.

“The smoke just continued to get thicker and thicker got to the point where you could only see about four or five feet in front of you. They said to get as low as you possibly could to the ground to try and breathe in the fresh air that was closer to the ground,” said passenger Dave Gelber.

“The smoke impacted everybody, very hard to breathe but stewardess came along with a wet cloth and they gave us paper towels to breath through,” said another passenger Linda Puu.

“All of a sudden the cabin just filled up with smoke. We had to go like this to breathe and he said we are going to come in hot and be prepared for an emergency landing so we had our heads down and he did a perfect landing,” said another passenger Lucky Cara. “I was scared. I flown so much and never had anything like this happen.”

“I was praying, that’s what I was doing. I was glad we were able to land and we didn’t have to do a water landing,” said Puu.

The plane landed safely on the runway and passengers evacuated using the emergency slides.

When asked about what it was like going down the emergency slide, Cara said, “That’s a pain because my back don’t have a good back. I said I never done this I slide and hit the cement and the fireman picks me up.”

“You never think you’re going to do it. I was just worried about the older people on the flight and so many babies but they all got out,” said Puu.

Officials say seven people were transported to local hospitals due to smoke-related symptoms. All other passengers and crew were shuttled back to a terminal. 

Passengers also tell us that Hawaiian Airlines is reimbursing the passengers with a round trip ticket.

UPDATE: Hawaiian Airlines said it has determined that a seal failed in the aircraft’s left engine, causing oil to leak onto hot parts of the plane’s engine and air conditioning pressurization system, resulting in smoke in the cabin. The performance of the engine was not affected.

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