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Singapore Airlines death – updates: One killed and up to 30 injured after extreme turbulence on London flight

Simon Calder’s Travel

London to Singapore flight diverts to Bangkok as ‘severe turbulence’ leaves one dead

One passenger has died and dozens injured after a Singapore Airlines flight from London was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok due to severe turbulence, local reports suggest.

The Boeing 777-300ER plane was en route to Singapore carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew when it made the emergency landing, the airline said in a statement.

Thai media reports said there were 30 injuries, while Singapore Airlines did not specify how many people were injured. An official at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport also confirmed one person had died but would not say how many had been wounded.

“We are working with the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary medical assistance,” the airline said.

Video clips shared on social media by reporters at the scene showed emergency vehicles lined up at the airport.

Singapore Airlines has not suffered a fatality since October 2000, when a plane crashed on a closed runway during takeoff at Taiwan and 83 people died.

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Incident follows two British Airways staff being injured in turbulence last year

The incident comes a year after two British Airways cabin crew suffered broken legs when a flight from Singapore to Heathrow last June was affected by severe turbulence over the Bay of Bengal.

A report by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch said “unsecured cabin crew were thrown around in the cabin”, resulting in two crew members being seriously injured and three sustaining minor injuries.

No passengers were hurt and the plane returned to Singapore.

Andy Gregory21 May 2024 12:55


How often does this sort of incident happen?

One study suggests aircraft encounter severe clear air turbulence at least 790 times a year, which works out at once every 11 hours. But climate researchers say the incidence at a typical point over the North Atlantic increased by 55 per cent between 1979 and 2020.

According to Paul Williams, Professor of Atmospheric Science in the Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading, a doubling of carbon dioxide (CO2) levels in the atmosphere would increase the average amount of severe clear air turbulence at 36,000 feet over the North Atlantic by 149 per cent. As a result, hazardous…

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