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5 Filipinos among passengers of Singapore Airlines that hit 'severe turbulence'

22 May 2024


Photo supplied by the carrier shows how the plane looked after the severe turbulence

Five Filipinos were among 229 people aboard a Singapore Air flight from London that was diverted to Bangkok yesterday after experiencing “severe turbulence” while on air, leading to the death of one passenger.

A statement issued by the airline late Tuesday said a total of 18 crew and 211 passengers, including five Filipinos, were aboard the stricken airline. 

Singapore Airlines, in a statement late Tuesday, confirmed one passenger had died and 18 other individuals had been hospitalized, but gave no details about their identities or condition.


"Another 12 were being treated in hospitals. The remaining passengers and crew were being examined and given treatment, where necessary, at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok," the airline merely said.

Other reports identified the fatality as 73-year-old British national named Geoffrey Kitchen, who had worked with the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, and most recently served as its director. 

Mr Kitchen was travelling with his wife when he died on board the Boeing 777-300ER plane, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Bangkok en route to Singapore from London at 3:45 local time on Tuesday.

A spokesman for Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport has been quoted as saying that the British victim suffered a suspected heart attack on the aircraft. 

He added that seven people are fighting for their lives in hospital, and dozens others were injured.

Here's a video from Reuters taken shortly after the stricken plane landed in Bangkok:

"Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased. We deeply apologise for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight. We are providing all necessary assistance during this difficult time," the airline said.

"We are working with our colleagues and the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary assistance. A Singapore Airlines team is on its way to Bangkok to provide any additional assistance needed," it added.

The airline said the flight encountered “sudden extreme turbulence” over Myanmar’s Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet about 10 hours after departure and the pilot declared a medical emergency, with flight tracking data showing the plane plummeted 6,000 feet in about three minutes.

Relatives seeking information may call the Singapore Airlines hotlines at +65 6542 3311 (Singapore), 1800-845-313 (Australia), and 080-0066-8194 (the United Kingdom).

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