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One Person Dead, 18 Hospitalised and Dozens More Injured After Singapore Airlines Flight From London Encounters Severe Turbulence

One Person Dead, 18 Hospitalised and Dozens More Injured After Singapore Airlines Flight From London Encounters Severe Turbulence

a collage of a plane with a medical device attached to the ceiling

One person has died, 18 others have been hospitalised, and dozens more were left injured when a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300 encountered severe turbulence during a 13-hour flight from London to Singapore.

Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 departed London Heathrow at around 10:30 pm on Monday night, and most of the flight passed off peacefully until the 16-year-old aircraft was rocked by severe turbulence as it flew over the Irrawaddy Basin around 11 hours into the flight.

Photos and videos taken by eyewitnesses show substantial damage throughout the cabin, with oxygen masks deployed from the sheer force of the turbulence, as well as dented panels from where people who weren’t wearing seatbelts at the time were thrown against the ceiling.

In one of the galleys, large portions of the ceiling had even completely dropped and hung loose by electrical wiring.

Tragically, a 73-year-old British man who was travelling with his wife is confirmed to have died. It is believed that the victim suffered a heart attack during the turbulence and could not be saved.

Some witnesses claim the most severely injured were those in the lavatories or waiting to use the toilet as they were standing up at the time of the turbulence.

The flight, with 211 passengers and 18 crew onboard, diverted to Bangkok where a major incident was declared.

In a statement, Singapore Airlines said: “Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. We deeply apologise for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight. We are providing all necessary assistance during this difficult time.”

“We are working with our colleagues and the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary assistance. A Singapore Airlines team is on its way to Bangkok to provide any additional assistance needed.”

Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau has already opened an investigation and is working with their counterparts in Bangkok with the aim of despatching a go-team to Thailand.

Aircraft manufacturer Boeing has also released a statement, saying: “We extend our deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one, and our thoughts are with the passengers and crew”.

A Boeing spokesperson said the company was standing ready to assist Singapore Airlines and accident investigators if necessary.

Among the injured were at least nine crew members, some of whom had to be hospitalized. It appears that a meal service was underway or being prepped at the time of the turbulence so the crew would have been on their feets when the incident occurred.

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