At least one dead, 30 injured after London-Singapore flight hit severe turbulence: Singapore Airlines

At least one person has died and 30 people were injured aboard a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 plane that experienced "severe turbulence" while heading from London to Singapore before it was diverted to Bangkok on Tuesday.
Singapore Airlines said flight SQ321 took off from London's Heathrow airport and "encountered severe turbulence en-route".
"We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing 777-300ER. There were a total of 211 passengers and 18 crew on board," the airline said in a statement on Facebook.
"As of 7.50 pm Singapore time on 21 May 2024, 18 individuals have been hospitalised. Another 12 are being treated in hospitals," wrote an update provided by Singapore Airlines.
The plane apparently plummeted for a number of minutes before it made the emergency landing at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok at 3.45 pm local time on Tuesday. The airline said the remaining passengers and crew are being examined and given treatment, where necessary, at the airport.
Thai news outlet Khao Sod has reported that one person has died aboard and another has died at a Thai hospital after the accident. Suvarnabhumi airport official confirmed one death but did not confirm the total injured.
"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," Dzafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student on board the flight told Reuters.
"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," he said.
Tracking data captured by FlightRadar24 and analyzed by The Associated Press showed the Singapore Airlines flight cruising at an altitude of 37,000 feet (11,300 meters). Just after 0800 GMT, the Boeing 777 suddenly and sharply pitched down to 31,000 feet (9,400 meters) over the span of some three minutes, the data shows.
The aircraft stayed at 31,000 feet (9,400 meters) for just under 10 minutes before rapidly descending and landing in Bangkok in just under half an hour. The descent happened as the flight was over the Andaman Sea approaching Myanmar.
It was not immediately clear at what point during the flight the injuries and death took place. It also did not specify the extent of the injuries or whether the person who died was a passenger or crew member.
"Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased," the airline said.
Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam has expressed his condolences to the family and loved ones of the person who died on board SQ321.
"We do not have the details of those affected, but know that the government ministry and agencies, as well as SIA, are doing their utmost to support all those affected and working with the authorities in Bangkok, where the plane had been diverted to," he said in a social media post.  
The last Singapore Airlines fatalities were in October 2000 when a plane crashed on a closed runway during takeoff at Taiwan and 83 people died.
Singapore Airlines has had seven accidents according to records by the Aviation Safety Network.
Thai immigration police said that medical personnel have boarded the plane to assess injuries, but cannot confirm the number and some uninjured passengers were deplaned.


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