Aussies hurt in deadly mid-air flight that killed a grandad (2024)

At least eight Australians are in hospital after deadly mid-air turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight out of London forced the pilot to make an emergency landing in Bangkok.

Fifty-six Australians were aboard the Boeing-777 that encountered horrific turbulence, which led to the death of a 73-year-old British man and injuries to dozens of other passengers.

Singapore Airlines CEO, Goh Choon Phong on Wednesday morning said they are “deeply saddened” by the incident, as they organise support for passengers and replacement flights.

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“We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 experienced,” he said.

“Our priority is to render all possible assistance to our passengers and crew members.”

Mr Goh Choon Phong confirmed 143 passengers who were on board flight SQ321 have arrived in Singapore early this morning on a relief flight.

While another 79 passengers and six crew members remain in Bangkok. This includes those receiving medical care, as well as their family members and loved ones who were on the flight.

The Boeing-777-300ER plane left London’s Heathrow Airport and was bound for Changi Airport in Singapore.

Sudden and extreme turbulence about 10 hours into the flight — caused by extreme tropical thunderstorms in the area — prompted pilots to divert to the Bangkok airport, where they landed at 3.45pm local time on Tuesday.

According to aircraft tracker flightradar24, the plane dropped about 6000 feet in the space of three minutes while flying near Myanmar airspace.

In a statement on Facebook, Singapore Airlines confirmed at least one person had died on the flight, which was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members.

“We are deeply saddened by this incident, and are committed to providing all necessary support and assistance to the passengers and crew members who were on board SQ321, as well as their families and loved ones,” the airline said.

“Our deepest condolences go out to the family and loved ones of the passenger who passed away.”

It is believed the 73-year-old died as a result of a heart attack. His wife was also admitted to hospital with injuries of unknown severity.

At least 10 ambulances were on the tarmac at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok after the plane made an emergency landing in Thailand.

In a statement on Facebook, Singapore Airlines confirmed

“Singapore Airlines flight #SQ321, operating from London (Heathrow) to Singapore on 20 May 2024, encountered severe turbulence en route,” the airline said.

“The aircraft diverted to Bangkok and landed at 1545hrs local time on 21 May 2024.”

Aussies hurt in deadly mid-air flight that killed a grandad (1)

Singapore Airlines said that 56 of the 211 passengers were Australian, the largest demographic on the flight.

“The nationalities of the passengers are as follows: 56 from Australia, 2 from Canada, 1 from Germany, 3 from India, 2 from Indonesia, 1 from Iceland, 4 from Ireland, 1 from Israel, 16 from Malaysia, 2 from Myanmar, 23 from New Zealand, 5 from the Philippines, 41 from Singapore, 1 from South Korea, 2 from Spain, 47 from the United Kingdom, and 4 from the United States of America.

“As of 1950hrs Singapore time on 21 May 2024, 18 individuals have been hospitalised. Another 12 are being treated in hospitals,” they said.

Aussies hurt in deadly mid-air flight that killed a grandad (2)

Confronting video, which is claimed to have been taken from onboard the flight, shows debris and blood scattered throughout the cabin.

Another image shows a Singapore airline crew member with a bloodied face strapped into a seat.

Twitter user Andrew Davies — who has shared photos of shaken passengers leaving the aircraft — said the seatbelt sign came on before the aircraft “just dropped”.

“I was on that flight and helped as much as I could,” he said on X.

“Those not injured (including me) are in a holding area at Bangkok airport.

“Lots of people injured — including the air stewards who were stoic and did everything they could. Bangkok emergency services quick to respond. Very little warning.”

Aussies hurt in deadly mid-air flight that killed a grandad (3)

Mr Davies claimed passengers with medical training attended to a man with serious injuries.

The Department of Foreign Affairs said eight Australians had been hurt in the incident.

“Consular officials from the Australian Embassy in Bangkok are providing consular assistance to eight Australians taken to hospital in Bangkok,” a spokesperson said.

“The Australian Embassy in Bangkok and the Australian High Commission in Singapore continue to make inquiries to confirm if any further Australians are affected.”

The airline said its priority was to “provide all possible assistance to all passengers and crew on board the aircraft” as soon as possible.

“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.”

Singapore Airlines has established a hotline to assist families of passengers seeking information on +65 6542 3311.

Australians seeking emergency consular assistance can contact the Australian Government’s 24-hour Consular Emergency hotline at +61 2 6261 3305 (from overseas) or 1300 555 135 (from within Australia).

Turbulence on the flight was a result of the beginning of Thailand’s monsoon season, with extreme winds and rainfall forecast for the next three days.

It comes after a LATAM Airlines flight suddenly plunged mid-air about an hour before landing in Auckland on March 11.

About 50 passengers were injured, with 10 taken to hospital, as well as three cabin crew members.

Flight LA800 was on its first leg of its Sydney to Santiago route, stopping in Auckland when a “technical fault” caused the plane to nosedive suddenly.

A British man has died and dozens more have been injured in a terrifying midair emergency.The Singapore Airlines flight with many Australians on board hit severe turbulence and was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok.

The plane, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, was carrying 263 passengers and nine crew members.

According to preliminary investigations by the Chilean Directorate General of Civil Aviation, the technical fault was caused by the captain’s seat involuntarily moving forward during the flight.

And another turbulent flight about six months ago left former WA MP Alannah MacTiernan with three broken ribs and injuries to her face and head.

The long-serving MP had been on her way to Dubai to attend the COP28 climate conference with a green steel company when she was thrown from her Emirates business class seat on December 5 last year.

“I was asleep when it happened, and I awoke to find I was jammed on top of a seating cubicle on the opposite side of the aisle,” Ms MacTiernan said.

“There were things flying around the cabin.”

She was one of more than a dozen passengers who were injured on flight EK421 after the plane had plunged suddenly during severe turbulence.

“I could barely move and was in quite a lot of pain. I took the full force on my chest, and I also knocked my head quite badly,” she said.

“It was complete chaos, which you can understand at the moment and, I guess, immediately after because there were a lot of people hurt, including some of the crew.”

Aussies hurt in deadly mid-air flight that killed a grandad (2024)
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