Sunday, June 16, 2024

1 Dead, 6 Critically Injured Due to Severe Turbulence on Singapore Airlines Flight, Airline Reports

One person died and dozens were injured after a Singapore Airlines flight encountered “severe” turbulence, the airline reported on social media.

The Boeing 777-300ER had departed from London’s Heathrow Airport on Monday, carrying 221 passengers and 18 crew members.

About 90 minutes from its destination of Singapore, flight SQ 321 experienced turbulence and was diverted to Bangkok, the airline stated.

Six people were critically injured, according to Kittipong Kittikachorn, general manager for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport. Dozens of other passengers suffered minor to moderate injuries, he added.

Geoff Kitchen, a 73-year-old man from the U.K., died, as confirmed by authorities and the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, where he was involved.

“Geoff was always a gentleman with utmost honesty and integrity, and always did what was right for the group. His commitment to TMTG was unquestionable, having served the group and the local community of Thornbury for over 35 years, including roles as Chairman, Treasurer, and most recently Secretary. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife and family at this difficult time, and we ask that you respect their privacy,” the theatre group posted on Facebook.

Singapore Airlines extended its condolences to Kitchen’s family.

“Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased,” the airline stated on Tuesday. “Our priority is to provide all possible assistance to all passengers and crew on board the aircraft.”

The National Transportation Safety Board is sending a team to assist in the investigation.

Dzafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student on the flight, described the event to ABC News: “Suddenly, the aircraft starts tilting up, and there was shaking. I started bracing for what was happening, and very suddenly there was a dramatic drop, so everyone not wearing a seatbelt was launched into the ceiling. Some hit their heads on the overhead baggage compartments, denting them, and others broke through the lights and masks.”

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong addressed the incident in a video message.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident and are committed to providing all necessary support and assistance to the passengers and crew on board SQ321, as well as their families and loved ones. Our deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the passenger who passed away,” Phong said.

The airline mentioned that four of the passengers were American, with two of them injured.

The turbulence occurred in Thai airspace, over the Andaman Sea. The flight, which was scheduled to arrive at Singapore Changi Airport, landed in Thailand around 3:45 p.m. local time, the carrier noted.

Boeing released a statement saying, “We are in contact with Singapore Airlines regarding flight SQ321 and stand ready to support them. We extend our deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one, and our thoughts are with the passengers and crew.”

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