Singapore Airlines boss Goh Choon Phong on flight turbulence

'I am very sorry for the traumatic experience': Singapore Airlines boss on flight turbulence

A Singapore Airlines flight from London to Singapore fell into an air pocket on Tuesday

New Delhi:

The chief executive of Singapore Airlines on Wednesday issued a public apology after one passenger was killed and 30 others were injured due to severe turbulence on a flight from London to Singapore.

In a video message, Goh Choon Phong said they were “very sorry for the traumatic experience” experienced by everyone on board flight SQ321 on Tuesday.

A Singapore Airlines flight, operating from London to Singapore, encountered sudden extreme turbulence at an altitude of 37,000 feet. The Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members.

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“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 experienced by everyone on board SQ321,” Mr Phong said.

He said Singapore Airlines is committed to providing all necessary support and assistance to the passengers and crew members who were on board SQ321. He also said they are also “fully cooperating” with relevant authorities in the investigations.

Phong said a relief flight carrying 143 of SQ321’s passengers and crew members, who were able to travel, arrived in Singapore this morning. Another 79 passengers and six crew members from SQ321, including those receiving medical care and their family members who were on the flight, remain in Bangkok, she said.

“Rest assured, Singapore Airlines is here to help and support you during this difficult time,” Mr Phong said.

Terror on Singapore Airlines flight

Singapore Airlines said its flight, which took off from London Heathrow Airport on Monday and was heading to Singapore, “encountered severe turbulence” along the way.

The flight fell into an air pocket while the cabin crew was serving breakfast before encountering turbulence, prompting the pilots to request an emergency landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where it landed at 3:45 p.m. ( local time) on Tuesday.

READ ALSO | “People thrown into lockers”: a passenger on a flight to Singapore recounts his horror

The airline said the sudden turbulence occurred over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin about 10 hours into the flight.

Photos of the plane’s interior showed large cuts in the cabin’s overhead panels, gas masks and panels hanging from the ceiling.

The interior of the Singapore Airline flight after an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport

The interior of the Singapore Airlines flight after an emergency landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport.
Photo credit: REUTERS

One passenger said that during the turbulence, some people’s heads slammed into the lights above the seats and punctured the panels.

Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport general manager Kittipong Kittikachorn said a 73-year-old British man died during the incident, probably due to a heart attack. Seven people were seriously injured, some with head injuries, he said at a news conference.