Singapore Airlines CEO Apologizes for Flight Incident That Left 1 Dead, Many injured

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong issued an apology on Wednesday after turbulence on a London-to-Singapore flight resulted in the death of one passenger and injuries to several others.

“On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased. We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 went through,” Phong stated.

The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft encountered turbulence over the Irrawaddy basin at an altitude of 37,000 feet, necessitating an emergency landing in Bangkok. “We are deeply saddened by this incident. It has resulted in one confirmed fatality and multiple injuries,” Phong added.

“Our priority is to render all possible assistance to our passengers and crew members,” he said. The turbulence caused the aircraft to descend 6,000 feet (around 1,800 meters) in approximately three minutes.

The flight was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members. Phong reported that a relief flight transporting 143 of the passengers and crew members who were able to travel arrived in Singapore on Monday morning at around 5 am. Meanwhile, 79 passengers and six crew members remain in Bangkok, including those injured who are receiving medical treatment and their accompanying family members.

“Singapore Airlines will continue to extend all possible assistance to them. We are fully cooperating with the relevant authorities for the investigation. We will provide updates as more information becomes available,” the CEO said.

Flight tracking data from FlightRadar24 indicated that at approximately 07:49 GMT, the Singapore Airlines flight encountered “a rapid change in vertical rate, consistent with a sudden turbulence event.” The data also noted the presence of severe thunderstorms in the area at the time.

Dzafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student on board the flight, recounted the experience to Reuters: “I saw people from across the aisle going completely horizontal, hitting the ceiling and landing back down in like really awkward positions. People, like, getting massive gashes in the head, concussions.”

An airline pilot familiar with the route between Singapore and Southeast Asia commented on the region’s weather patterns, noting, “It is not a rare occurrence for big thunderstorms in the Bay of Bengal. There are always the chances of bumps.”

Singapore Airlines, renowned as a benchmark in the airline industry, has maintained a strong safety record and has not experienced any major incidents in recent times. This incident underscores the unpredictability of severe weather conditions and their impact on air travel, even for the most reputed carriers.

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