Passengers have revealed the horrific moment a Hawaiian airlines flight from Honolulu to Sydney hit severe turbulence and left seven injured.
Multiple accounts for the Australia-bound flight revealed that passengers went flying out of their seats and crashing onto the floor.
Turbulence struck roughly five hours into the plane’s 11-hour journey over the Pacific, thrusting several passengers out of their seats and into the cabin of flight HA451, officials confirmed.
Shocking photos show the full extent of the damage after it hit strong winds and encountered ‘severe turbulence’ while flying over the Pacific Ocean – including the plane’s hole-ridden, frayed ceiling.
The plane had been carrying 163 passengers, as well as 12 crew members at the time of the incident.
Officials confirmed three of the injured were released after being assessed on scene, while four were taken to hospital for further evaluation. The FAA is probing the incident.
Scroll down for video:
A Hawaiian Airlines flight from Honolulu to Sydney hit severe turbulence on Friday, injuring seven people on board. A photo provided by a passenger shows dropped oxygen masks and a man with an ice pack on his head
This photo provided by Tara Goodall shows a crack in the ceiling of the plane, identified flight HA451 The airline says airport medics assessed and released three injured passengers when the flight landed. A passenger and three flight attendants were ‘referred for further evaluation’
‘The plane just dropped,’ passenger Sultan Baskonyali told ABC News Sunday, days before Hawaiian revealed that a total of seven people – including at least three flight attendants – were injured.
She recalled: ‘There was a man in front of us who had gone all the way up. He hit his head on the roof, and dropped back down.
‘We weren’t prepared.’
Another passenger, Tara Goodall, added that her two children were among those injured and released – while claiming that as of Monday, she has still had not heard from Hawaiian.
‘I haven´t heard from the airline at all even though both my children who were on the flight sustained minor injuries,’ Goodall told The Associated Press Monday, while sharing images of cracks in the ceiling presumably made by passengers.
One startling image showed the plane’s deployed oxygen masks in the foreground, as well as a man nursing an apparent injury with an ice pack on his head.
Another unnamed passenger shared two images to Reddit of similar ‘cabin damage’ which she said was ’caused by human bodies flying out of seats after the plane hit shocking turbulence.’
One image showed a ceiling panel in the walkway between the seats bent out of shape while another picture showed a huge crack next to the control panels above a passenger’s head.
The HA451 flight from Honolulu to Sydney encountered ‘severe turbulence’ throwing passengers from their seats. The ceiling panel in the walkway between the seats was bent out of shape after a person slammed into it (pictured)
Another image shared by a passenger on the flight showed a huge crack next to the control panel above a person’s seat (pictured)
The traveler, who is from Australia, described how both passengers and crew members were thrown around the cabin as the plane nosedived roughly 3,000 feet at a speed of about 600mph.
‘We were informed over intercom that the turbulence was about to get bad and we all needed to buckle up and not get up to use to bathroom,’ they wrote.
‘Before the sentence had finished, the plane started shaking like mad before the nose got pushed down and the engines jetted us downward at 950km/h (590mph).
They added: ‘The pilot recovered us after a few seconds – but according to the altitude readings on the in-flight radar on the screen from before, and after, the dive, we dipped somewhere between 800m (2624 feet) and 1km (3280 feet) in those few seconds.’
Others also described seeing fellow passengers suddenly thrust upward before dropping back down – causing several on social media to chastise the travelers for now wearing seatbelts during what presumably was a safety alert.
Passengers like Sultan Baskonyali are now describing the moment the aircraft nosedived and sent passengers flying out of their seats and crashing onto the floor
The criticism caused the aforementioned Australian passenger – who did not provide her name – to reveal the time between verbal warning and the event was only a few seconds.
They quipped: ‘Nobody can avoid peeing for an entire 11-hour flight, and the time between the verbal warning on the intercom and the event was barely a few seconds.
‘Plus,’ she added, ‘most of the seriously injured people were crew who didn’t have the luxury of sitting around with their seatbelt on all the time.’
The person further recalled hearing the screams of several fellow passengers and crew members amid the chaos – sounds they said would stick with them for the foreseeable future.
‘I think we’re just very shaken up by it all.’
Meanwhile, Hawaiian – one of several airlines affected by a slew of delay and cancellations in recent weeks – revealed Monday that a total of seven passengers were injured as a result of the ordeal, four somewhat seriously.
Of that group, one person had been a passenger, a spokesperson confirmed to DailyMail.com, while the other three were all flight attendants. They have since been released, the rep said.
As for the lone hospitalized passenger, the airline was not able to provide an update on their condition – but said staffers were currently in contact with that person.
‘Our immediate priority is to continue to care for our passengers and crew affected by this turbulence event, and we thank Sydney airport first responders for their swift assistance,’ the airline said.
Goodall, meanwhile, described Tuesday how the ordeal happened as she was returning home to Sydney after visiting Hawaii – the first overseas trip for her two sons.
It was difficult, she said in text messages, ‘seeing your kids being thrown around the plane cabin’ and being unable to make them feel safe.
She said she wasn’t yet ready to discuss the turbulence in more detail because she was still upset and emotional about it.
The incident is not the first time that passengers have been hurt on a Hawaiian plane as a result of turbulence.
Last year, severe turbulence injured 25 people on board one flight from Phoenix to Honolulu. Four passengers and two crew members were seriously hurt. The plane sustained minor damage.
The plane – identified as flight HA451 – the turbulence struck roughly five hours into the plane’s 11-hour journey over the Pacific
The incident is not the first time that passengers have been hurt on a Hawaiian plane as a result of turbulence – last year, severe turbulence injured 25 people on board one flight from Phoenix to Honolulu
The captain of the December 18 flight told investigators that conditions were smooth with clear skies when a cloud shot up in front of the plane, and that there was no time to change course, according to a report by the National Transportation Safety Board.
Hawaiian Airlines Chief Operating Officer Jon Snook said at the time that such turbulence is unusual, noting that the airline had not experienced anything like it in recent history.
The sign to fasten seatbelts was on at the time, though some of the people injured were not wearing them, he said.
It happened about 40 minutes before landing in Honolulu, according to the NTSB report.
As for the more recent incident, the Federal Aviation Administration confirmed it is currently investigating.