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Foul smell prompts HA flight to make emergency landing into Maui

Hawaiian Airlines Flight 23 from Oakland to Maui was in the cruise portion of flight over the Pacific Ocean Friday when passengers in the forward section of the Boeing 767 experienced an odor. 

The pilots declared an emergency and got priority clearance into Maui. During the incident passengers were moved to the back of the plane. The flight landed.  First responders treated 12 passengers and 3 flight attendants for respiratory issues. They have all been released. 

Once on the ground it was determined to have come from a can of pepper spray that was brought onboard illegally by a passenger. It’s reported that police are now questioning the passenger and trying to figure out how it got through security.

Hawaiian Airlines is giving all passengers on the plane a $500 travel credit. There were 256 passengers and 10 crew onboard.

The FAA tells says they’re working with the airline to figure out how it all unfolded. Pepper spray is illegal in airplane cabins. The FAA can take enforcement action against anyone who violates federal aviation regulations.

Since then, a request has been sent out to the TSA on the apparent failure at security screening in Oakland.

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