WAILUKU, Hawaii -- An Aloha Airlines jet with 107 passengers aboard landed safely Sunday night after losing cabin pressure, officials said.
The depressurization caused the pilot of Flight 66 to declare an emergency and to descend from 15,000 feet to 5,000 feet during the 12-minute flight from Honolulu International Airport on Oahu to Kahului Airport on Maui Island, airline spokesman Stu Glauberman said.
Passengers reported experiencing intense pain from the change in pressure and some thought they were going to crash.
"It was terrible. Like spears being shoved through your ears," said Sheryl Silkie, a visitor from Canada.
When the crew took steps to stabilize the plane, the cabin became extremely cold, to the point where passengers could see their breath for a minute or two, she said.
Twenty-two people aboard the flight sought treatment at Maui Memorial Hospital, with most complaining of ear aches, assistant administrator Gerald Matsui said. None was expected to be hospitalized overnight, he said.
Glauberman said he didn't know what caused the cabin of the Boeing 737 to depressurize.