Singapore Airlines turbulence: Kiwi awarded 31 points

A New Zealand passenger on the Singapore Airlines flight that suffered severe turbulence overnight has been hospitalized after being thrown from his seat.

The man, who was traveling with his wife, received 31 stitches, his family told 1News.

Photographs of the man, sent to his family in New Zealand, show the back of his ear cut off and bruises on his face. Another photo shows a large dent in the cabin and some blood where it hit the man’s head.

The man and his wife were traveling to Singapore and told his family in messages that there was “a violent shaking for 30 seconds and then a massive fall.”

Immediately before the turbulence it was calm and the man had been walking in the cabin and forgot to put his seat belt back on. His wife sent a message to the family saying “it was terrifying.”

The man was released from the hospital after receiving stitches and an X-ray that showed his neck was twisted. The couple is still in Bangkok, where the plane landed.

In a statement issued shortly after landing, the airline apologized for the “trauma” experienced by those on board.

The Boeing 777-300ER plane diverted to the Thai capital with 211 passengers and 18 crew on board after the flight experienced “sudden extreme turbulence” over Myanmar.

A Briton also died and authorities said dozens of passengers were injured, some seriously.

An airport official said the 73-year-old man may have suffered a heart attack, although that has not been confirmed.

Singapore Airlines confirmed there were 23 New Zealanders on the flight. A Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesperson told 1News this morning: “We are aware of reports that New Zealanders were involved in the Singapore Airlines incident. We are seeking further information but have not received any requests for consular assistance.”

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital said two New Zealanders were among 71 people treated there.