Severe turbulence in flight led to the death of a passenger, another 70 people were injured - ForumDaily
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Severe turbulence in flight led to the death of a passenger and injured 70 more people

On May 21, one passenger was killed and 71 others were injured during turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight. The plane was flying from London to Singapore. He made an emergency landing in Bangkok, reports CNN.

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According to the airline, after 10 hours of flight, the Boeing 777-300ER entered the zone turbulence over Myanmar.

The flight, carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, took off from London Heathrow Airport around 22:30 p.m. local time. He was heading to Singapore's Changi Airport, but made an emergency landing in Bangkok at 15:45 local time.

"Hell has broken out"

Andrew Davis passenger on board flight SQ321, who was flying to New Zealand on business, said that at first it was a “perfectly normal” flight, but then the “fasten seat belts” light came on and seconds later “all hell broke loose.”

“The plane seemed to be falling. It probably only lasted a few seconds, but I clearly remember cutlery, plates, cups, shoes, iPads and iPhones, pillows and blankets flying around the cabin in front of me. The gentleman next to me had a cup of coffee. The drink spilled on me and on the ceiling,” Davis conveyed the atmosphere of what was happening.

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He said he realized the "severity" of the turbulence. Davis saw several passengers with head wounds, including one with "blood pouring down his face" and an elderly passenger in "severe shock."

“There was a lot of screaming,” he noted.

Videos and images from inside the plane showed the extent of the damage, with upper compartments smashed and emergency oxygen masks hanging from the ceiling. The photograph shows an open part of the ceiling with parts of the aircraft's cabin protruding from it. Trays, containers, plastic bottles and pots of hot drinks are scattered across the floor.

As a result of the incident, a 73-year-old British man died. He is believed to have suffered a heart attack, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi International Airport CEO Kittipong Kittikachorn said on May 21.

The deceased man was later identified as Geoff Kitchen, an employee of the Thornbury Musical Theater (TMTG). He worked there for more than 35 years. Colleagues describe Kitchen as “a gentleman with the utmost honesty and integrity.”

Davis, who was seated at the front of the plane, said he helped keep an eye on Kitchen, who was seated behind him.

“A lot of people needed help, but we looked after this gentleman. I helped carry him, get him out of the seat. We got him on the floor so paramedics could perform CPR,” Davis explained. They tried to revive Kitchen for about 20 minutes.

"True Horror"

“I couldn’t stop vomiting at Bangkok airport. I couldn't walk, my condition was terrible,” said Josh Silverstone, 24, who was released from hospital with a cut to his eye and a chipped tooth. According to him, things could have been “much worse.”

He was so scared that he bought internet access on board the plane so he could write to his mother, reports Yahoo.

“I wasn’t trying to scare her, I just wrote: ‘I love you,’” Josh admitted.

Passenger Beverly Myers, who was not injured, described the situation inside the airliner as "absolute horror."

“The whole plane was shaking... Huge pieces of skin fell to the floor, people were hit on the head,” she shared her memories.

Newlyweds Ali and Ramiza Bukhari, who were returning on the flight after their honeymoon, said they were relieved to be back home.

“It was a very, very traumatic experience,” Ali Bukhari emphasized.

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in Bangkok, which admitted the injured passengers, said at least 71 people were injured. Six passengers were seriously injured, and 20 were placed in intensive care. Among the wounded are citizens of Malaysia, Great Britain, New Zealand, Spain, the USA and Ireland. Some passengers have broken arms.

Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Fong said the airline was "providing all possible assistance and support" to passengers and their families.

Causes of turbulence

The flight was likely caught in a rapidly developing thunderstorm.

Turbulence occurs when an airplane flies through colliding air masses moving at very different speeds.

Tropical thunderstorms like these are typical for this time of year, with humidity increasing across the region as the southwest monsoon season begins in South Asia. They form quickly in the afternoon when the ground warms up, especially near coastlines.

In mild to moderate turbulence, occupants may feel tension in their seat belts and loose objects may move around the cabin. In severe cases, turbulence can throw passengers around the cabin, causing serious injury and sometimes death.

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The airline said in a statement that the plane "approximately 10 hours after departure encountered sudden severe turbulence over a river in Myanmar at an altitude of 11 km."

Data from aviation tracking site FlightRadar24 shows the airliner suddenly plummeting, then rapidly rising 60m in the air, then plummeting again and rising again. Eventually he returns to his original route. The entire glitch took about 90 seconds, according to the site.

Every year in the United States, about 65 aircraft experience moderate turbulence and nearly 000 experience severe turbulence. However, according to a professor of atmospheric sciences at the University of Reading in the UK, these numbers may be destined to rise as the climate crisis changes some types of turbulence.

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