Singapore Airlines: Brit dies from cardiac arrest after deadly turbulence on flight from London Heathrow

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A 73-year-old British man died from cardiac arrest on Singapore Airlines flight after severe turbulence

A 73-year-old British man died from cardiac arrest and many others were injured, seven critically, after a flight from Heathrow Airport to Singapore hit turbulence and was diverted to Thailand.

Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok following the deadly turbulence. The aircraft took off at 10.38pm UK time on Monday but had to divert to the Thai capital, landing at 3.45pm local time on Tuesday (9.45am UK time).

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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 due to what they call an air pocket - a condition of the atmosphere (such as a local downdraft) that causes an airplane to drop suddenly.

Speaking to the press on Tuesday, general manager of Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport said about 30 people were injured, including at least one member of the crew. He added: “Lots of passengers couldn’t walk and had to be rescued from the aircraft.” He added some people with minor injuries who have left the hospital, ready to travel back to Singapore.

A 73-year-old British man died from a possible heart attack on Singapore Airline after severe turbulence A 73-year-old British man died from a possible heart attack on Singapore Airline after severe turbulence
A 73-year-old British man died from a possible heart attack on Singapore Airline after severe turbulence | NurPhoto via Getty Images

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.”

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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’s minister for transport Chee Hong Tat said in a statement posted on Facebook: “I am deeply saddened to learn about the incident onboard Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London Heathrow to Singapore.”

He said several organisations are “providing support to the affected passengers and their families”, adding: “My deepest condolences to the family of the deceased.”

Singapore Airlines said it was working with Thai authorities “to provide the necessary medical assistance” and sending a team to Bangkok to provide extra help.

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