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Singapore Airlines: One dead, dozens injured after severe turbulence hits London to Singapore flight



Singapore Airlines: One dead, dozens injured after severe turbulence hits London to Singapore flight

Bangkok, Thailand

One passenger died and 71 folks have been injured when their Singapore Airways flight from London to Singapore encountered extreme turbulence Tuesday, throwing passengers and crew across the cabin and forcing the airplane to make an emergency touchdown in Bangkok.

The Boeing 777-300ER was about 10 hours into its flight and halfway by way of meal service when it hit turbulence whereas flying over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin, based on the airline.

Andrew Davies, a passenger onboard flight SQ321 who was touring to New Zealand for enterprise, instructed CNN’s Erin Burnett that it had been a “completely regular” flight when the seatbelt signal got here on and seconds later “all hell broke free.”

“The airplane simply felt prefer it dropped. It in all probability solely lasted a number of seconds however I bear in mind vividly seeing sneakers and iPads and iPhones and cushions and blankets and cutlery and plates and cups flying by way of the air and crashing to the ceiling. The gentleman subsequent to me had a cup of espresso, which went straight throughout me and as much as the ceiling,” Davies stated.

Davies stated he realized the “gravity” of the turbulence when he rotated, describing a number of passengers with gashes on their heads, together with one with “blood pouring down her face” and an aged passenger in “extreme shock.”

“There was a lot screaming,” he stated.

Video and pictures from contained in the plane confirmed the extent of the harm, with overhead compartments smashed open and emergency oxygen air masks hanging down from the ceiling. A photograph of 1 galley confirmed a piece of the ceiling open with components of the airplane’s inside hanging down. Trays, containers, plastic bottles and sizzling beverage pots might be seen strewn throughout the ground.

A 73-year-old British man died within the incident from a suspected coronary heart situation, the Normal Supervisor of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Worldwide Airport Kittipong Kittikachorn stated Tuesday, including that the post-mortem course of was nonetheless ongoing.

The person was later recognized as Geoff Kitchen, who was described as “all the time a gentleman with the utmost honesty and integrity” by the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group (TMTG), an institution the place he labored for over 35 years.

The British International Workplace instructed CNN it was supporting the household of a British passenger who died on a Singapore Airways flight.

Davies, who was seated towards the entrance of the airplane, stated he helped are likely to Kitchen, who was seated behind him.

“A number of folks wanted some assist however we tended to this gentleman and I helped carry him, get him out of the seat, and we lay him on the ground in order that some medical career(als) may administer CPR,” Davies stated, including the passenger was administered CPR for about 20 minutes.”

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Passenger describes scene within lethal Singapore Airways flight

The Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in Bangkok, which obtained the injured passengers, stated at the very least 71 folks have been injured, with six severely. These injured embody residents of Malaysia, the UK, New Zealand, Spain, the US and Eire.

Kittikachorn, who inspected the plane, stated some injured passengers sustained damaged arms.

The flight, carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew, had left London’s Heathrow Airport round 10:30 p.m. native time, based on on-line flight trackers. It was sure for Singapore’s Changi Airport, nevertheless the plane was diverted to Bangkok the place it landed at 3:45 p.m. native time, based on the airline.

Video filmed after Singapore Airways SQ321 was diverted to Bangkok exhibits a passenger being carried from the plane on a stretcher by emergency responders.

Kittikachorn stated that following the touchdown in Bangkok nearly 200 vacationers have been ready to take onward flights to their locations. A Singapore Airways airplane carrying 131 of the 211 passengers later departed Bangkok for Singapore, he stated.

Singapore Airways CEO Goh Choon Phong stated in a press release that the airline is “offering all doable help and assist” to the passengers and their households.

“On behalf of Singapore Airways, I want to categorical my deepest condolences to the household and family members of the deceased passenger. We additionally deeply apologize for the trauma skilled by all passengers and crew members on this flight,” he stated.

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport stated in a assertion that it was investigating the scenario involving flight SQ321 and the US Nationwide Transportation Security Board is sending personnel to Singapore to assist assist the investigation.

The interior of Singapore Airline flight SQ321 is pictured after an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, on May 21.

Turbulence happens when a airplane flies by way of clashing our bodies of air transferring at broadly completely different speeds.

With gentle and average turbulence passengers may really feel a pressure towards their seatbelt, and unsecured gadgets may transfer across the cabin. However in extreme circumstances turbulence can throw passengers across the cabin, inflicting extreme accidents and sometimes demise.

 An announcement from the airline stated the airplane, “encountered sudden excessive turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin [a river in Myanmar] at 37,000 ft, about 10 hours after departure.”

Knowledge from aviation monitoring web site FlightRadar24 exhibits the flight abruptly dipping then quickly climbing a number of hundred ft earlier than dipping and climbing once more after which lastly settling again at its cruising altitude. The complete disruption took about 90 seconds, based on the information.

The flight modifications course about 14 minutes later. The airline stated, “The pilot declared a medical emergency and diverted the plane to Bangkok.”

The flight possible encountered quickly creating thunderstorms over southern Myanmar on Tuesday in the course of the time that excessive turbulence was reported, based on CNN Climate evaluation.

Tropical thunderstorms like these are typical for this time of yr with moisture rising within the area because the southwest monsoon season is starting in South Asia. They’ll kind shortly within the early afternoon because the land heats up, particularly close to the shoreline.

Budding thunderstorms like Tuesday’s might not seem on radar of their earliest phases, regardless that the fast rising movement inside them can nonetheless produce turbulence. The storm cells possible grew from 20,000-30,000 ft to nicely over 50,000 ft in lower than an hour.

The interior of Singapore Airline flight SQ321 is pictured after an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, Thailand, on May 21.

About 65,000 plane undergo average turbulence yearly within the US, and about 5,500 run into extreme turbulence. These numbers, nevertheless, may be destined to develop because the local weather disaster is modifying turbulence, based on a professor of atmospheric science on the College of Studying within the UK.

A September 2022 examine predicts that clear-air turbulence will enhance considerably across the globe by 2050-2080, particularly alongside the busiest flight routes, and the strongest sort of turbulence will enhance essentially the most.

In March 2023, violent actions on a non-public jet resulted within the demise of a former White Home official, although an investigation later discovered that climate was not concerned in that incident. That incident got here simply days after seven folks have been transported to hospitals after a separate industrial flight hit vital turbulence.

In July 2023, seven folks have been injured on a Hawaiian Airways flight to Sydney, Australia, when the airplane was buffeted by extreme turbulence, and 36 folks have been injured on a Hawaiian Airways flight from Arizona to Honolulu in December 2022, with 20 folks taken to emergency rooms.

Singapore Airways is usually thought-about one of many world’s most secure carriers.

Its solely earlier deadly accident was in October 2000 when flight SQ006 crashed when the Boeing 747-400 took off from a closed runway in Taiwan amid heavy rain, killing 83 on board.

Singapore Airways stated later Tuesday {that a} devoted group had arrived in Bangkok “to assist our colleagues and the native authorities on the bottom” in an replace on its Fb web page.

The flight operator expressed its “deepest condolences to the household of the deceased. We deeply apologize for the traumatic expertise that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight.”

Boeing has stated it’s in contact with the Singaporean provider and is “able to assist them.” The producer is deferring additional inquiries to the airline and native authorities.

This story and headline have been up to date with extra developments.

CORRECTION: An earlier model of this story incorrectly described a March 2023 incident involving a non-public jet. The Nationwide Transportation Security Board later dominated climate had not been concerned within the violent actions of that airplane.

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