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Breaking News: Fatal Turbulence Incident on Singapore Airlines Flight

Photo: Alan Cross
Photo: Alan Cross

Severe turbulence on Singapore Airlines flight SQ 321 from London to Singapore results in one fatality and several injuries, leading to an emergency landing in Bangkok.

In a tragic turn of events, a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore experienced severe turbulence, resulting in the death of one passenger and injuries to several others. The Boeing 777-300ER, operating as flight SQ 321, was diverted to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where it landed at 15:45 local time (08:45 GMT) on May 21, 2024.

The flight, carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, encountered severe weather conditions en route to its destination. According to Thai PBS, the aircraft issued an emergency squawk code 7700 at approximately 4 pm, requesting permission for an emergency landing due to the extreme turbulence.

Singapore Airlines confirmed the incident in a statement, expressing deep condolences to the family of the deceased. “Our priority is to provide all possible assistance to all passengers and crew on board the aircraft,” the airline stated. “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.”

Thai authorities have mobilized ambulances and emergency teams to assist the injured passengers at Suvarnabhumi Airport. Singapore’s Transport Minister, Chee Hong Tat, also expressed his condolences and assured that the government would support the affected passengers and their families. “I am deeply saddened to learn about the incident onboard Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London Heathrow to Singapore,” he posted on Facebook.

The exact cause of the severe turbulence remains unclear. Aviation expert John Strickland told the BBC, “Injuries from severe turbulence are relatively rare in the context of millions of flights operated. However, severe turbulence can be dramatic and lead to severe injuries or, sadly, in this case, a fatality.” He emphasized the importance of keeping seat belts loosely fastened throughout a flight, regardless of its length.

Singapore Airlines has pledged to provide regular updates on their official Facebook and X accounts as more information becomes available. The airline’s prompt response and coordination with Thai authorities underscore the critical importance of passenger safety and emergency preparedness in the aviation industry.

This incident serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers of turbulence, despite the sophisticated forecasting and training resources available to flight crews. As investigations continue, the aviation community will undoubtedly scrutinize the details to enhance safety measures and prevent such tragedies in the future.

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