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Singapore Airlines boss apologizes for ‘traumatic experience’ as passengers ‘somersaulted’ in cabin during deadly drop



Singapore Airlines CEO apologized for the “traumatic experience” after a 73-year-old man was killed and others were thrown around the cabin when turbulence caused the airline’s jet to plunge 6,000 feet Tuesday.

“On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased,” Goh Choon Phong said in a video posted to the company’s Facebook page Wednesday. 

Phong said the airline is “deeply saddened” by the incident and is “very sorry for the traumatic experience” those on board flight SQ321 from London to Singapore went through.

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong issued an apology for Tuesday’s traumatic flight that resulted in the death of one passenger. Singapore Airlines

He added the company is “fully cooperating with relevant authorities on the investigations” and that the airline would “render all possible assistance” to affected passengers and crew members.

The Boeing 777-300ER jet departed London’s Heathrow Airport Monday at 10:17 p.m. local time with 211 passengers and 18 crew on board.

The plane was 10 hours into its flight and at 37,000 feet when it started to experience extreme turbulence due to thunderstorms over the Indian Ocean.

Tracking data from FlightRadar24 showed the Boeing jet sharply dropping from an altitude of about 37,000 feet to 31,000 feet within just five minutes over the Irrawaddy Basin River in Myanmar.

The interior of Singapore Airlines flight SG321 is pictured after an emergency landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport on May 21, 2024. REUTERS
The aircraft plunged over 6,000 feet in altitude. shillman

The pilot declared a medical emergency and landed at 3:45 p.m. local time at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.

Several passengers were severely injured, and 23 others and nine crew members sustained moderate injuries during the incident.

A “relief flight with 143 of the SQ321 passengers and crew members” landed in Singapore at around 5 a.m. Wednesday, he added.

Injured passengers were carried off a Singapore Airlines flight that was hit by severe turbulence. ViralPress
Jerry, a passenger on Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London to Singapore, described the moment the plane plunged during severe turbulence. BBC

A passenger onboard the flight, identified as Jerry, called the chaotic incident the “worst day of (his) life.”

“I ended up hitting my head on the ceiling [and] my wife did. Some poor people walking around ended up doing somersaults, it was absolutely terrible,” the British grandfather told the BBC with a large bandage on his head.

“Suddenly it stopped, and it was calm again. The staff did their best to tend to the injured people, there were a lot of them. Some of the staff were injured themselves, so they did a sterling job.”

Jerry, traveling to his son’s wedding with his wife and daughter, revealed that “swarms of medical teams” raced onboard the aircraft and took off the “worst patients off first” when they landed in Bangkok.

After those seriously hurt were taken away, he was evaluated and ended up in the hospital due to his head injury. 

Geoff Kitchen, a 73-year-old British grandfather, was killed during the flight.

The Gloucestershire native was beginning a six-week tour of Asia and Australia with his wife Linda when he’s suspected to have died of a heart attack during the turbulence. 

Andrew Davies, a passenger onboard the nightmare flight, recalled the harrowing experience and how those with medical training desperately tried to save Kitchen’s life. 

Jerry called the chaotic incident the “worst day of (his) life.” via REUTERS
Geoffrey Kitchen died onboard the Singapore Airlines jet from a suspected heart attack. Facebook / Geoff Kitchen

He wrote on X that people “shouted for a defribulator. Passengers with medical training helping as much as they could. CPR on the poor gentleman that passed. Another passenger laid flat in aisle further behind me. Not sure what happened with them. Wish I could have helped more.”

Kitchen’s, an amateur actor and former insurance worker, wife is currently among those being treated at the hospital.

Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau is conducting an investigation into the traumatic incident.

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