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Passengers suffer spinal cord, brain injuries in ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight hit by massive turbulence

The London to Singapore flight was struck by massive turbulence and had to make an emergency landing in Bangkok. The passengers in the ill-fated flight suffered spinal cord and brain injuries, according to reports.

Edited By: Ashesh Mallick @asheshmallick07 Singapore Published on: May 24, 2024 10:20 IST
Singapore Airlines, turbulence
Image Source : AP Boeing 777-300ER aircraft of Singapore Airlines

As many as 22 passengers suffered spinal cord injuries while six were bruised with brain and skull injuries in the Singapore Airlines flight which was hit by a massive turbulence on May 21 while flying from London to Singapore, according to media reports. The flight made an emergency landing in Bangkok. Twenty people remained in intensive care, although none were life-threatening cases, reported The Straits Times, citing Dr Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, director of Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital.

The oldest patient at the hospital is 83 whereas the youngest is a two-year-old child who suffered a concussion.

Singapore Airlines flight encounters turbulence

The official said that there were 40 patients from Flight SQ321 at the hospital. Around 60 passengers sustained injuries after the flight was hit by "sudden extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet about 10 hours after departure".

46 passengers and 2 crew members aboard the SIA flight remain in the Thai capital for medical treatment whereas 65 passengers and 2 crew members were still in Bangkok, said SIA in a Facebook post at 9.31pm on May 23.

The Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members was diverted to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3.45pm (4.45pm Singapore time), for an emergency landing after encountering the turbulence.

Briton Geoffrey Kitchen, 73, died during the turbulence, reportedly due to a heart attack.

SIA chief meets affected passengers

It added that SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong has been “meeting the affected passengers, crew, their family members and loved ones in Bangkok today to personally offer his support and to understand their concerns”.

Also, customer care representatives, who are staff volunteers with training to handle such situations, have been deployed to provide updates to passengers, and to help them if needed.

Goh said, “We have also facilitated the travel of their family members and loved ones to Bangkok and ensured that they are taken care of too.”

He also thanked the staff at Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, and Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, where the injured passengers and crew are believed to be hospitalised.

Singapore Airlines is in contact with all the passengers and crew members who are still in Bangkok. Customer Care Representatives, who are staff volunteers trained for such situations, have been assigned to provide updates and the necessary support and assistance to each passenger during this difficult time.

(With PTI inputs)

ALSO READ | Singapore Airlines plane hit by severe turbulence: Is climate change impacting your flight journey?

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