Passengers recount chaos on ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight (video)
Passengers recount chaos on ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight (video)Legacy

Passengers aboard the ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight recounted harrowing scenes during an emergency landing in Bangkok yesterday, after a 73 year old British man, Geoff Kitchen, succumbed to a suspected heart attack triggered by severe turbulence that wreaked havoc in the cabin.

The turbulence, which struck as a meal service was underway, left more than 30 passengers injured and plunged the flight from London to Singapore into chaos.

British man Andrew Davis described the initial moments of the incident as “awful screaming and what sounded like a thud,” with objects and people being violently thrown around the cabin.

“I was covered in coffee. It was incredibly severe turbulence.”

Dzafran Azmir, a 28 year old student, recounted how the aircraft suddenly “tilted up” and began “shaking” before a dramatic drop caused unbelted passengers to be launched into the ceiling.

“Some people hit their heads on the overhead baggage compartments, denting them and breaking through the areas where lights and masks are stored.”

Passengers recount chaos on ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight (video) | News by Thaiger
Geoff Kitchener who unfortunately died on the flight from London to Singapore

The Singapore-bound Boeing 777-300ER was forced to divert to Bangkok, making an emergency landing at 3.45pm local time with 211 passengers and 18 crew aboard.

Singapore Airlines reported that 31 passengers were taken to hospital and expressed their deepest condolences to the dead man’s family. The Thornbury Musical Theatre Group in South Gloucestershire, where Kitchen was a respected member, praised him as “a gentleman with the utmost honesty and integrity.”

An airline official explained that about 10 hours into the flight, the plane encountered “sudden extreme turbulence” over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet. Singapore Airlines is working with Thai authorities to provide medical assistance and has dispatched a team to Bangkok to support affected passengers.

The nationalities of those on board included 47 passengers from England. Allison Barker shared her anxiety after receiving a message from her son Josh, who was en route to Bali.

“I don’t want to scare you, but I’m on a crazy flight. The plane is making an emergency landing… I love you all.”

She endured a “petrifying” two-hour wait before hearing from him again. Josh, who sustained minor injuries, found himself on the floor after blacking out during the turbulence.

Passengers recount chaos on ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight (video) | News by Thaiger
Picture of the aftermath courtesy of The BBC

Jerry, a 68 year old British man travelling to Australia for his son’s wedding, recalled the sudden plunge without warning.

“I hit my head on the ceiling, as did my wife. Some poor people doing somersaults.”

Another British passenger, suffering from a neck injury, remarked on their luck.

“It went from no turbulence… no plane shaking at all, and then I was hitting the roof.”

Singapore’s Transport Minister, Chee Hong Tat, expressed his sorrow and pledged government support for the passengers and their families.

“I am deeply saddened to learn about the incident on board Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London Heathrow to Singapore.”

Passengers recount chaos on ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight (video) | News by Thaiger Passengers recount chaos on ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight (video) | News by Thaiger

Aviation expert John Strickland emphasised the rarity of such severe turbulence despite millions of flights annually.

“However, severe turbulence can be dramatic and lead to severe injuries or, sadly, a fatality.”

He noted the importance of keeping seatbelts loosely fastened throughout flights.

Aviation journalist Sally Gethin underscored that wearing a seatbelt could mean the “difference between life and death” during severe turbulence, warning that anything unsecured is at risk. Research suggests that climate change may increase the frequency of severe turbulence in the future.

The story Passengers recount chaos on ill-fated Singapore Airlines flight (video) as seen on Thaiger News.

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Author: Bob Scott