Severe Turbulence Leaves One Dead on Singapore Airlines Flight

A relief aircraft carrying over 140 passengers and crew members touched down in Singapore after a wild trip filled with turbulence.  

Aboard the flight from England to Singapore, passengers aboard the SQ321 described horrific events, including an adult female suffering from a horrific cut on her head and the cries of another woman in excruciating pain.

On board, a British man named Geoff Kitchen (73) died of a possible heart attack, and many others had serious injuries.

The Boeing 777-300ER had to make an emergency landing in Bangkok. About 211 passengers and 18 crew members were on board.

According to Smitivej Hospital in Bangkok, 104 patients were treated; 58 patients are still in the hospital, with 20 requiring critical care.

According to a British passenger, the Boeing 777-300ER plummeted abruptly and without notice. Another traveler said the plane hurled anybody who wasn’t fastened into their seatbelts straight into the ceiling.

The 737 MAX has been the center of attention for aircraft maker Boeing’s problems so far, but the 777, a bigger aircraft in its range, has also gained attention for errors and malfunctions. 

Consistently ranked among the world’s safest airlines, incidents concerning Singapore Airlines are very uncommon.  In 2000, a Boeing 747 had a fatal accident in Taiwan after trying to depart from the incorrect runway.  Out of the 179 individuals on board, about 83 perished.

While jets’ weather radar may detect turbulence while flying through clouds, turbulence can also occur in clear air.

According to aviation writer Sally Gethin, who said that amid intense turbulence, everything not fastened down is in danger, and wearing a seatbelt might be the key between life and death.

According to aviation expert John Strickland, who spoke to the BBC, serious turbulence injuries are somewhat unusual compared to the millions of flights that have been undertaken.