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Twenty people from Singapore Airlines flight in intensive care in Bangkok

Photo: Lilian Suwanrumpha Agence France-Presse The Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER, heading to Singapore from London, on the tarmac at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport on May 22, 2024.

Montira Rungjirajittranon – Agence France-Presse in Bangkok

Posted at 9:29 a.m.

  • Asia

Twenty people who traveled aboard the Singapore Airlines plane that experienced turbulence before an emergency landing in Bangkok on Tuesday were in intensive care at hospitals in the Thai capital after a exceptional incident which cost the life of a passenger.

Boeing Flight SQ321, which was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, experienced extreme and sudden turbulence at 11,000 meters above Myanmar ten hours after takeoff, rising suddenly and diving several times.

A 73-year-old British passenger died and 104 others were injured on board the London-Singapore flight.

The Samitivej hospital group declared to AFP on Wednesday that it had taken care of 85 of them, including 20 in intensive care from Australia, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, Malaysia , from New Zealand, Singapore and the Philippines.

Photos taken on the plane show a cabin littered with food, drink bottles and luggage, as well as oxygen masks hanging from the ceiling.

According to a statement from the Philippine Department of Labor, a Filipino passenger, an IT engineer working in Singapore, suffered a broken neck and her condition was deemed “sensitive” but stable by doctors.

The CEO of Singapore Airlines Goh Choon Phong offered his condolences to the family of the deceased and said he was “truly sorry for the traumatic experience” faced by those on board, in a video message.

At Suvarnabhumi Airport in the Thai capital, medical staff carried the injured on stretchers to ambulances waiting on the tarmac.

A Thai Airways employee told AFP he saw “more than 10” ambulances rushing to the scene. Airport staff separated passengers into four groups based on their health, said the man, who only gave his first name, Poonyaphat.

On Wednesday, 131 traumatized passengers and 12 crew members, the majority of those on the Boeing, finally arrived in Singapore on another flight.

“Incredibly strong turbulence”

They were greeted by relieved relatives but none wanted to speak to journalists.

“I was thrown against the ceiling, then when the plane suddenly dropped, I did the same,” a passenger told local Australian press on Wednesday after arriving in Sydney, his final destination.

“I then hit the ground quite hard and my breakfast and glass also shattered.”

“Some of the crew were serving everyone breakfast and they, the poor people, were the most seriously injured,” he added.

Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong sent his “deepest condolences” to the loved ones of the passenger who lost his life, Geoff Kitchen, the manager of a theater near Bristol, Great Britain. Brittany.

The city-state sent a team of investigators to Bangkok and Wong assured that his country was “working closely with Thai authorities” and would conduct “a thorough investigation.”< /p>

Among the passengers, 56 were Australian, 47 British and 41 Singaporean, the airline said.

Malaysia said nine of its nationals were hospitalized, including one in critical but stable condition.

An AFP photographer saw Singapore Airlines staff wearing yellow vests enter the plane, which remained grounded in Bangkok on Wednesday.

“It’s too early to know exactly what happened. But I think passengers are not taking enough precautions,” Anthony Brickhouse, an American aviation security expert, commented to AFP.

“As soon as the signal goes out, most of them immediately take off their seat belts.”

“A crazy flight”

Allison Barker, whose son Josh was on the Boeing, told the BBC he texted her about a “crazy” plane that had to make an emergency landing .

“We didn’t know if he survived, it was so scary. It was the longest two hours of my life,” she said.

Scientists say climate change is likely to cause more turbulence, invisible to radar.

According to a study carried out in 2023, the annual duration of turbulence increased by 17% between 1979 and 2020 and severe, rarer turbulence by more than 50%.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116