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Singapore Airlines Says 52 Passengers and One Crew Member From Turbulence Striken Flight SQ321 Remain in Bangkok a Week After Fatal Incident

Singapore Airlines Says 52 Passengers and One Crew Member From Turbulence Striken Flight SQ321 Remain in Bangkok a Week After Fatal Incident

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

Singapore Airlines said on Sunday that 52 passengers and one crew member who were onboard flight SQ321, which was rocked by severe turbulence on May 21, remain in Bangkok nearly a week after the fatal incident, which also seriously injured scores of passengers and cabin crew.

Of the passengers who are still in Bangkok following the medical emergency diversion of the Boeing 777-300 aircraft, 40 remain in hospital, along with the one cabin crew member who is understood to have undergone spinal surgery after they were flung against the ceiling of the cabin when the plane suddenly dropped.

In the immediate aftermath of the incident, Singapore Airlines managed to repatriate 131 passengers and 12 crew members out of Bangkok on a special relief flight. On their arrival in Singapore, some passengers continued to their intended destinations, while some returned back to London and others were allowed to stay in Singapore while they processed what had just happened.

Singapore Airlines says it remains in touch with all the passengers on flight SQ321, and it has arranged for family members of some of the passengers still in Bangkok to travel to Thailand so they can be with their relatives.

On Sunday, the 16-year-old aircraft was ferried back to Singapore from Bangkok without any passengers onboard. The aircraft is expected to remain out of service for some time, not only because of the extensive damage within the cabin but because the aircraft is still subject of an ongoing accident investigation.

In an internal memo shared on Sunday, Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong thanked staffers for their hard work and resilience in response to the incident.

“The last five days have been immensely challenging for everyone at Singapore Airlines,” Phong wrote. “Our agility, dedication and team spirit were evident during this period,” the memo continued.

“The Singapore-based crisis management team sprang into action, while our Bangkok station and their local partners mobilised all available resources and medical teams to receive the aircraft.”

“So much has happened in such a short time. It has been undeniably intense, with everyone working at a relentless pace as we collectively responded to SQ321. On behalf of the SIA board and the entire management team, I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart”.

In response to the incident, Singapore has altered its turbulence policy and will no longer continue meal service if the seatbelt sign is switched on. Instead, cabin crew will be instructed to suspend service, stow meal carts and then check on passengers before strapping themselves into their jumpseats.

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