British man dead and over 50 injured after severe turbulence on flight

The 73-year-old British man, who was travelling with his wife, died after the Singapore Airlines flight was hit by severe turbulence.

A British man has died and more than 50 people have been injured after severe turbulence hit a passenger aircraft flying from London to Singapore.

On Tuesday, it was confirmed a 73-year-old Brit, who was travelling with his wife, died following the incident on the Singapore Airlines plane.

A spokesperson said the man had “medical issues” and may have suffered a cardiac arrest as a result of the “chaotic” scenes on the flight.

The Singapore Airlines flight, operated by a Boeing 777-300ER jet, departed London Heathrow around 10.17pm on Monday evening and was bound for Singapore, with 211 passengers and 18 crew on board.

However the aircraft hit severe turbulence, with videos on social media showing people thrown to the celling and hitting their heads off overhead bins.

Singapore Airlines passenger jet surrounded by ambulances at Bangkok airport after severe turbulenceTerler

The aircraft was diverted to Bangkok in Thailand and landed at 3.45pm local time (9.45am BST) on Tuesday.

Following the emergency landing, a spokesperson said that 23 people suffered intermediate injuries while 30 suffered small injuries and have since left hospital to travel onwards to Singapore.

In an update posted on social media on Tuesday afternoon, Singapore Airlines confirmed the nationalities of passengers on board the aircraft, including 47 from the UK, four from the US, 56 from Australia and 41 from Singapore.

Tracking data published by FlightRadar24 shows the plane was cruising at an altitude of 37,000 feet over the Andaman Sea off the coast of Myanmar shortly after 9am BST when it sharply dropped by 6,000 feet.

Student Dzafran Azmir, 28, who was on the flight, told Reuters: “Suddenly the aircraft starts tilting up and there was shaking so I started bracing for what was happening, and very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop, so everyone seated and not wearing a seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling.

“Some people hit their heads on the baggage cabins overhead and dented it, they hit the places where lights and masks are and broke straight through it.”

Singapore Airlines said: “Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, operating from London Heathrow to Singapore on May 20, encountered severe turbulence en-route.

“We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board.

“Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased.

“Our priority is to provide all possible assistance to all passengers and crew on board the aircraft.

“We are working with the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary medical assistance and sending a team to Bangkok to provide any additional assistance needed.

Singapore Airlines later posted on social media: “The nationalities of the passengers are as follows: 56 from Australia, two from Canada, one from Germany, three from India, two from Indonesia, one from Iceland, four from Ireland, one from Israel, 16 from Malaysia, two from Myanmar, 23 from New Zealand, five from the Philippines, 41 from Singapore, one from South Korea, two from Spain, 47 from the United Kingdom, and four from the United States of America.”

Joji Waites, head of flight safety at pilots’ union Balpa, said: “Balpa sends its thoughts to the family and friends of those affected by this event.

“Aircraft are designed and certificated to withstand flight in severe turbulence, and pilots are trained in how to anticipate potential turbulence encounters based on weather forecasts and the aircraft’s onboard technology.

“Route weather forecasts provide a general prediction of when turbulence is likely to occur, but they often cannot reflect actual conditions in sufficient detail to enable pilots to avoid specific instances of turbulence.

“It is important, therefore, for aircraft occupants to have their seatbelts fastened while seated should any unexpected encounters occur and comply promptly with ‘fasten seat belt’ signs when asked to do so.”

A spokesperson for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said: “Our deepest condolences go out to all those who have been affected.

“Accidents of this nature are extremely rare and aviation remains one of the safest forms of travel.”

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in