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Hawaii Storm: Severe Turbulence Injures Seven on United Flight 15

 / Updated 
Honolulu International Airport
The tarmac at Honolulu International Airport on Thursday, February 16 , 2012 in Honolulu, Hawaii.KENT NISHIMURA / AFP-Getty Images file

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Seven people were injured when a plane was hit by turbulence en route from Newark to Hawaii on Saturday, officials said, as the Pacific island was struck by strong winds.

The Hawaii Department of Transportation said United Airlines flight 15 experienced "sudden turbulence" on its way to Honolulu. Four crew members and a teen girl with a head injury were taken to the hospital, it said. Two other injured crew declined transport to the hospital, it added.

In a statement, United said "Our primary focus is helping our passengers and crew, and our flight safety team will review what happened." They noted that the flight had a total of 230 passengers and 11 crew.

At least six other flights inbound to Maui were diverted to Honolulu because of bad weather but no injuries were reported on those flights, the Hawaii Department of Transportation said.

Wind gusts of nearly 60 mph hit Oahu on Saturday, with several residents reporting severe damage to their homes, according to NBC News affiliate KGMB/KHNL. One Kahaluu woman told the station that the roof of her house had been lifted 100 yards away, while a Kailua resident said her garage was ripped away during the storm.

— Matthew Grimson

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