Wednesday, 12 June, 2024

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More than 20 people hurt on turbulent Singapore Airlines flight have spinal injuries, hospital says


Of the dozens of people hurt Tuesday during turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight from London, more than 20 have suffered spinal injuries, according to a Bangkok hospital that treated some of the passengers.

Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, director of the Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in the Thai capital, told reporters on Thursday that it is treating 22 patients with spine and spinal cord issues, six with skull and brain injuries, and another 13 for bone, muscle or soft tissue complaints.

The doctor added that 17 patients had undergone surgery, including procedures like suturing to spinal operations.

Flight SQ321 from London to Singapore was cruising at 37,000 feet on Tuesday when the plane dropped sharply before climbing several hundred feet, according to flight tracking data. It then repeated to dip and ascend for about a minute.

Many passengers were having breakfast at the time of the incident. Video and images from inside the aircraft after its emergency landing in Bangkok showed the extent of the damage, with overhead compartments smashed open and emergency oxygen air masks dangling above the seats.

A photo of one galley showed a section of the ceiling open with parts of the plane’s interior hanging down. Trays, containers, plastic bottles and hot beverage pots can be seen strewn across the floor.

After the incident, the plane – which was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew – was diverted to Bangkok, where ambulances and emergency response teams were waiting.

Those injured on the flight included citizens from Australia, Malaysia, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, Spain, the United States and Ireland, the hospital previously said.

Of the total 71 passengers who were reported injured on the flight, 55 people remain in hospital, including 40 at the Samitivej Srinakarin facility.

A 73-year-old British man with an existing heart condition died on board, though hospital officials haven’t confirmed his cause of death.

The man was later identified as Geoff Kitchen, who was described as “always a gentleman with the utmost honesty and integrity” by the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, an establishment where he worked for over 35 years.

Of the passengers and crew on board the original flight, 143 were flown to Singapore on a relief flight sent by Singapore Airlines on Wednesday morning.

Credit: CNN

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