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What next for Singapore Airlines and the passengers on doomed flight?

Simon Calder’s Travel

Singapore Airlines said a relief plane flew into Singapore early Wednesday morning with most of the passengers who were on a flight that was battered by severe turbulence over the Indian Ocean and had to make an emergency landing in Bangkok after one man died and dozens of people were injured.

The airline said 143 passengers arrived in the city state shortly after 5 am.

The airline’s CEO, Goh Choon Phong, said an additional 79 passengers and six crew members remained in Bangkok, including the 71 hospitalized as of Wednesday morning. A second relief flight was planned.

The airline’s Flight SQ321 was flying from London’s Heathrow airport to Singapore, with 211 passengers and 18 crew members aboard, when it hit the turbulence Tuesday, bashing people around inside the plane. The Boeing 777 descended 6,000 feet (around 1,800 meters) in about three minutes, the carrier said Tuesday.

“We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 went through,” Goh said in a video on social media. He said the airline was providing all necessary support and pledged it would fully cooperate in investigations.

Singapore Airlines said the nationalities of the passengers were 56 Australians, two Canadians, one German, three Indians, two Indonesians, one Icelander, four Irish, one Israeli, 16 Malaysians, two from Myanmar, 23 New Zealanders, five Filipinos, 41 from Singapore, one South Korean, two Spaniards, 47 from the United Kingdom and four from the United States.

An airport official said the 73-year-old British man who died might have had a heart attack, though that hadn’t been confirmed.

The man was identified as Geoff Kitchen, who was going on a holiday with his wife. She was among the passengers taken to hospital in Bangkok

He was described as formerly working in the insurance industry, and in retirement continuing his involvement with amateur theater.

The Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, with which he worked, said he was “always a gentleman with the utmost honesty and integrity and always did what was right for the group.”

Mr Kitchen had recently worked hard campaigning for the reopening of the town’s Armstrong Hall (Facebook)

Passengers who arrived at Singapore’s Changi Airport on Wednesday were greeted by Goh and their family members, some with tears of joy and relief. They were escorted out and didn’t talk to the…

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