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Severe Turbulence Aboard Singapore Airlines Flight Kills One, Injures 71

One Singapore Airlines passenger is dead and many more were injured after the flight hit sudden and severe turbulence, causing the flight to drop 6,000 feet in minutes.
A Singapore Airlines flyer was killed after severe turbulence rocked the aircraft at 37,000 feet, over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar.


The latest updates from the airline confirm the fatality, as well as 71 additional injuries to passengers and flight crew as a result.


Extreme Turbulence Results in Medical Emergency, Diversion to Bangkok

According to the airline’s updates, the incident happened aboard Singapore Airlines Flight 321, departing from London Heathrow Airport (LHR) to Singapore Changi Airport (SIN). At around 4 AM Eastern Time, 10 hours into the flight, data from FlightRadar 24 shows the airframe dropped around 6,000 feet in a matter of five minutes due to an extreme turbulence incident.


The pilot declared a medical emergency and was able to successfully divert the Boeing 777-300ER to Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (BKK). The flight landed without further incident.


A statement from the airline confirmed there was one death aboard the flight, as well as “multiple” injuries. Of the casualties, 18 people were hospitalized and 12 were transported to hospitals for treatment. The New York Times reports there were a total of 71 injuries among the flyers. A total of 229 souls were aboard the flight: 211 passengers and 18 crew members. While most have been taken to Singapore Changi Airport on relief flights, a total of 85 who were aboard the flight remained in Bangkok for treatment.


“Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased,” the airline said in a statement. “We deeply apologize for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight. We are providing all necessary assistance during this difficult time. We are working with our colleagues and the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary assistance.”


The incident remains under investigation.


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Ed. Note: The photo above depicts the aircraft involved in the incident as photographed in 2020. Feature image courtesy: Pete Macklin/Flickr/CC BY 2.0 DEED.