Crime Scene Photo AirDropped to 15 Passengers Grounds Hawaiian Airlines Flight

Hawaiian Airlines Flight Airdrop Photo Credit: Markus Mainka / Shutterstock
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A Hawaiian Airlines flight was grounded for 90 minutes Friday after a passenger accidentally AirDropped a horrifying photo to fellow travelers.

Flight 23, bound for Maui from Oakland, was already taxiing and set to take off when multiple passengers received a gruesome photo via AirDrop of what appeared to be a child face down in a crime scene surrounded by evidence markers.

At least 15 passengers received the frightening photo, the Alameda County Sheriff’s Department told BuzzFeed News. When the crew alerted the pilot, they made the decision to return to the gate.

But the mysterious AirDrop photo turned out to be a mistake.

A 15-year-old girl was apparently attempting to send a picture from her high school medical-biology class to her mother, who was sitting next to her, via AirDrop. The picture depicted a mock crime scene. The seemingly dead child in the photo was actually a mannequin.

Airdrop Fake Crime Scene Photo
Alameda County Sheriff’s Office / BuzzFeed News

While it’s not that easy to mistakenly send an AirDrop photo, BuzzFeed News points out that the mother had recently got a new iPhone. Presumably, the girl was confused as to which Apple device belonged to her mom — and ended up accidentally sent the photo to other passengers.

BuzzFeed News reported that the girl and her mother weren’t allowed back on the flight, but were rebooked for another flight the following day. Both were questioned by officers, who eventually realized no actual crime had taken place.

According to police, the girl was “very embarrassed” by the incident. Alameda County Sheriff Sergeant Ray Kelly added that “she was actually crying, so we had to console her a little bit — it was OK, it was a mistake.”

That wasn’t the only quirk to happen on Hawaiian Airlines Flight 23. According to BuzzFeed News, a container of pepper spray that had been illegally brought onto the plane exploded in-flight.

Passengers only noticed something was amiss when a handful of people came down with coughing fits. And you thought your last airline experience was bad.

Avoiding this kind of AirDrop mistake is fairly easy: Just make sure you’re sending content to the right recipient. You can also edit your receiving preferences for AirDrop by going to Settings > General > AirDrop.

Read AirDrop Guide

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