Man dies on Singapore Airlines flight from London hit by severe turbulence | Aviation news

The Boeing 777-300ER was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members when it made an emergency landing in Bangkok.

One person has died and several others have been injured after a Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore crashed due to severe turbulence, the airline said.

The Boeing 777-300er was diverted to Bangkok, Thailand, where it made an emergency landing at 3:45 pm (08:45 GMT) on Tuesday.

Flight SQ321 “encountered severe turbulence en route,” Singapore Airlines said in a statement on its Facebook page.

“We can confirm there are injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing 777-300ER.”

There were 211 passengers and 18 crew members on board.

After about 11 hours of flying time, the plane descended sharply from an altitude of about 37,000 feet (11,278 meters) to 31,000 feet (9,449 meters) less than five minutes after crossing the Andaman Sea and approaching Thailand, according to FlightRadar 24 data.

“Suddenly the plane starts tilting, there was shaking, so I started bracing what was going on, and very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop, so everyone sat down and was immediately launched into the ceiling without wearing seat belts,” Zafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student passenger, told Reuters news agency.

“Some people hit the overhead of the baggage cabin and cut it down, they hit the places where the lights and masks are and broke straight through it,” Asmir said.

‘rare’ with turbulence

Andrew Charlton, director of Aviation Advocacy, a consultancy, told Al Jazeera that deaths from turbulence were “extremely rare”.

He said the plane was flying in a tropical area with thunderstorms that could cause turbulence.

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Charlton says the change in air temperature is caused by the cooling of the lower layer of air as the day ends and night begins, which may have led to severe turbulence.

He emphasized that the Singapore Airlines plane was designed to “endure severe levels of turbulence”. However, he also warned that turbulence could still cause injuries to passengers not wearing seat belts.

The airline did not say how many people were injured, but several Thai media reports put the number at 30.

It said its “priority is to provide all possible assistance to all passengers and crew on board” and that it was working with Thai authorities to “provide necessary medical assistance”.

Thai immigration police said medical personnel boarded the plane to assess injuries, but did not confirm the number. It said the uninjured passengers were disembarked.

Singapore’s Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said the government would help passengers and their families.

“I am deeply saddened to learn of the incident on Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London Heathrow to Singapore,” he posted in a statement on Facebook. “My deepest sympathies to the bereaved family.”

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