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An Airbus A350 Singapore Airlines aircraft approaches for landing at Singapore Changi Airport in Singapore on March 24, 2024. (Photo by Roslan RAHMAN / AFP) (Photo by ROSLAN RAHMAN/AFP via Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
Tuesday, May 21, 2024

UPDATE 10:22 AM: The number of injured passengers has increased to at least 71. Those transferred to the Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital include citizens from Malaysia, Spain, Ireland, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States. Six of the at least 71 passengers have been reported to be severely injured.

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8:40 AM: A chaotic flight kills a 73-year-old British man and leaves 30 other passengers with injuries after a Singapore Airlines Boeing flight hit severe turbulence Tuesday. 

The terrifying flight was sent plunging 6,000 feet and sent unrestrained travelers crashing into overhead bins. 

The Boeing 777-300ER jet carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members was headed to Singapore from London when it was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok at 3:45 p.m. local time, the airline said. 

“Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased,” the airline said in a statement. “We deeply apologize for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight.”

According to local authorities, the identity of the dead passenger hasn’t been released yet, but they believe he may have suffered a heart attack. 

According to multiple passengers aboard the flight, those who were not wearing seatbelts were launched into the ceiling when the plane dropped all of a sudden. 

“Suddenly the aircraft starts tilting up and there was shaking so I started bracing for what was happening, and very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop so everyone seated and not wearing seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling,” said Dzafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student on board the flight.

“Some people hit their heads on the baggage cabins overhead and dented it, they hit the places where lights and masks are and broke straight through it.”

Other passengers said there was little warning before the chaos erupted.

“Lots of people injured – including the air stewards who were stoic and did everything they could,” passenger Andrew Davies tweeted. 

“Very little warning. The seatbelt sign came on, I put on my seatbelt straight away then the plane just dropped.”

“People’s belongings scattered, coffee and water splattered the ceiling. Surreal. So many injured people. Head lacerations, bleeding ears. A lady was screaming in pain with a bad back. I couldn’t help her,” he added.

Footage and images showed food and debris displaced throughout the aircraft in the aftermath of the turbulence, as well as huge dents in the overhead bins. 

Almost 11 hours into the flight, FlightRadar24 tracking data showed the plane dropping in altitude at an alarming rate of about 37,000 feet to 31,000 feet within less than five minutes as it was flying over the Andaman Sea. 

Additionally, the plane stayed at 31,000 feet for nearly 10 minutes before descending into Bangkok, Thailand, the tracking data shows. 

Emergency crews from the Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital raced to the scene to help treat and transfer injured passengers from the runway to undergo treatment. 

However, the extent of the injuries were not immediately clear but airport officials said dozens were hospitalized by the tragic incident. 

According to Singapore Airlines, 18 people were still hospitalized in the hours after the landing, with another 12 being treated on an outpatient basis. 

“Our priority is to provide all possible assistance to all passengers and crew on board the aircraft,” the airline said.

“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.”

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