‘Terrifying moment’ for passengers as plane fills with smoke

Pilots aboard the Hawaiian Airlines aircraft got a warning of smoke in the cargo hold but did not deploy oxygen masks for fear of feeding a possible fire.
1:48 | 08/24/19

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Transcript for ‘Terrifying moment’ for passengers as plane fills with smoke
Next to the frightening moments as a passenger plane makes an emergency landing in Hawaii. Smoke filling the cabin in the last 20 minutes of the flight. Seven people hospitalized. The smoke coming from a faulty engine seal. Why didn't the oxygen masks deploy? Here's David Kerley. Reporter: With all that smoke, the nearly 200 hawaiian airlines passengers tonight are calling their flight frightening. It was a very terrifying and I thought I was going to die. Reporter: Just 20 minutes before landing in Hawaii, an acrid smoke. The cabin just started filling up with smoke. So we all just kind of had to go like this to breathe. Reporter: The pilots got a warning of smoke in the cargo hold, not knowing whether or where there might be fire. They decided not to deploy the oxygen masks, which could feed a fire, but they do declare an emergency. Hawaiian 47, visuals four right emergency aircraft. We will be evacuating on the Emergency personnel are standing by. Everyone on board was nervous. Babies and children were crying and screaming. Reporter: On the ground. The slides deployed for a quick evacuation of passengers. Seven people, including two children, rushed to the hospital for smoke inhalation. Hawaiian airlines says an engine seal failed, and hot oil burned and bled into the air system. Quite a scene there. David, this was just 20 minutes before the landing. What would have happened had this been earlier in the flight when they were over the pacific? Reporter: No pilot wants smoke in the aircraft. They would have to diagnose where the smoke was coming from, which engine, and shut off the bleed air that goes into the cabin. Tonight, hawaiian airlines apologizing to the passengers. Authorities investigating

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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