Passengers remember the horror on board the flight

More than 140 travelers and crew members who were on board a flight hit by severe turbulence landed in Singapore on a relief flight this morning.

Passengers aboard SQ321, which was heading from London to Singapore, recounted scenes of “absolute terror”, with one passenger saying he saw a woman with a “terrible cut on her head” and heard another “screaming in agony.” .

A 73-year-old Briton, Geoff Kitchen, died on board of a suspected heart attack, while several others remain seriously injured.

Kitchen is believed to have suffered a heart attack when the plane was hit by turbulence. Reports say he was heading to Singapore to begin a six-week vacation along with his wife, who was also on board.

The Singapore-bound Boeing 777-300ER diverted to Bangkok following the mid-air incident, making an emergency landing at 3:45 p.m. local time (08:45 GMT) with some 211 passengers and 18 crew on board.

Some 79 passengers and six crew members are still in Bangkok, where they are receiving medical treatment for their injuries.

Andrew Davies, a British passenger on board the Boeing 777-300ER, told BBC Radio 5 Live that the plane “came down suddenly… (with) very little warning.”

“What I remember most is seeing objects and things flying through the air. I was covered in brown. It was incredibly severe turbulence,” he said.

Another passenger said those not wearing seatbelts were “immediately thrown against the roof.”

“Suddenly there was a very dramatic fall, so everyone who was sitting and without a seat belt was immediately thrown against the roof,” student Dzafran Azmir, 28, told Reuters.

“I saw people on the other side of the hallway go completely horizontal, hit the ceiling and land in really uncomfortable positions. People with massive cuts to their heads and concussions.”

Azmir added that people’s heads had smashed into the overhead panels above the seats and “popped through” some of the panels.

Another Briton, Jerry, 68, was traveling to Australia for his son’s wedding. He said there was no warning before the “plane went down.”

“I hit my head on the ceiling, my wife did. Some poor people who were walking ended up doing somersaults,” he recalled.

“My son was thrown to the ground two rows behind me. I heard there was a guy who hit the ceiling in the bathroom and was also pretty seriously injured,” he said, speaking from a Thai hospital. He added that he and his family were “lucky” that none of them had died.

The family had been traveling to Australia for their son’s wedding on Friday, but would now be unable to attend, he said.

A Singapore man, whose son was on board the plane, said he was “thrown everywhere.”

Chiew says her 22-year-old son was on vacation in London visiting his girlfriend, who was studying there on an exchange program. The couple were flying back to Singapore when turbulence hit.

He told the BBC: “My son was on his way to the bathroom, while his girlfriend was sitting. “They are both fine.

“He said he wasn’t hurt, he was fine, but he’s a little bruised, they threw him all over the place.”

He said his son had messaged him yesterday afternoon to say he had landed in Bangkok after the flight was diverted.

An airline official said that about 10 hours into its flight, the plane had encountered “sudden extreme turbulence” over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet.

Singapore Airlines too provided details about the nationalities of the passengers on the flight, which included 56 people from Australia and 47 from the United Kingdom.

Allison Barker said she received a message from her son, Josh, who was on the plane heading to Bali: “I don’t want to scare you, but I’m on a crazy flight. The plane is making an emergency landing… I love you all.”

After that message, she waited two “petrifying” hours before hearing from him again.

“One minute he was sitting with his seat belt on and the next minute he must have passed out because he found himself on the floor with other people,” he told the BBC.

Josh, she said, suffered minor injuries, but she worries that being close to death could have a lasting impact on him.

Singapore Airlines chief Goh Choon Phong apologized on Wednesday morning and said the airline was “very sorry for the traumatic experience”.

In a video statement, Goh said the airline was “cooperating fully with the relevant authorities in the investigations.”

He also expressed his condolences to the victim’s family, adding that they will “provide all possible assistance” to the affected passengers and crew.

Singapore Prime Minister Lawrence Wong also sent his “deepest condolences” to the family and loved ones of the deceased, adding that Singapore was “working closely with the Thai authorities.”

He also said that Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau would conduct a thorough investigation into the incident.

Accidents involving Singapore Airlines are rare, and the airline consistently ranks among the safest in the world.

The last fatal accident occurred in 2000, when a Boeing 747 crashed while trying to take off from the wrong runway at an airport in Taiwan.

Some 83 people of the 179 on board died.