HONOLULU, Hawaii (KHNL) – Seven passengers were taken to hospitals Thursday after smoke filled the cabin and cargo hold of a Hawaiian Airlines flight from Oakland about 20 minutes before the aircraft made a dramatic emergency landing and evacuation at Honolulu’s airport.
In a statement released about 6 p.m Thursday, Hawaiian Airlines said it had determined the smoke was caused by a problem in the plane’s engine.
“We have since 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,” said Hawaiian Airlines spokesman Alex Da Silva, in an emailed statement.
He added that “the performance of the engine was not affected.”
Passenger Lucky Cara said the cabin filled with smoke “all of a sudden” on approach to Honolulu.
“I was scared. It just kept getting worse and worse, and there were a few people that were crying but they settled down,” said Cara.