"Very Sorry" says Singapore Airlines CEO after one death & 70 injured on Flight

Wednesday, 22 May 2024 - 12:35

Singapore Airlines CEO on Wednesday issued a public apology after one passenger died and about 70 others were injured due to severe turbulence on a flight from London to Singapore.

In a video message, Goh Choon Phong said that they were "very sorry for the traumatic experience" that everyone on board the flight, SQ321, went through on Tuesday.

A Singapore Airlines flight, operating from London to Singapore, encountered sudden extreme turbulence at an altitude of 37,000 feet. The Boeing 777-300ER plane was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members.

Some tallies of the injured differed as the airline said 18 were hospitalised and 12 were being treated in hospitals, while Samitivej Hospital said it was treating 71 passengers.

"On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased. We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 went through," Mr Phong said.

He said that Singapore Airlines is committed to providing all necessary support and assistance to the passengers and crew members who were on board SQ321. He also said that they are also "fully cooperating" with the relevant authorities on the investigations.

Mr Phong said that a relief flight with 143 of the SQ321 passengers and crew members, who were able to travel, arrived in Singapore this morning. Another 79 passengers and six crew members from SQ321, including those receiving medical care and their family members who were on the flight, remain in Bangkok, he said.

"Please be assured that Singapore Airlines is here to help and support you during this difficult time," Mr Phong said.

Singapore Airlines said that its flight, which took off from Heathrow Airport in London on Monday and was headed to Singapore, "encountered severe turbulence" en route.

The flight fell into an air pocket while the cabin crew was serving breakfast before it encountered turbulence, prompting the pilots to request an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where it landed at 3.45 pm (local time) on Tuesday.

The airline said that the sudden turbulence occurred over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar about 10 hours into the flight.

Photographs from the interior of the plane showed large gashes in the overhead cabin panels, gas masks, and panels hanging from the ceiling.

A passenger said that some people's heads had slammed into the lights above the seats and punctured the panels during the turbulence.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport general manager Kittipong Kittikachorn said that a 73-year-old British man died during the incident, likely due to a heart attack. Seven people were critically injured, some with head injuries, he told a press conference.

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