Horror Singapore Airlines Flight Left 22 People With Spinal Injuries

Lillian Suwanrumpha/Reuters
Lillian Suwanrumpha/Reuters

The hospital where a group of Singapore Airlines passengers are being treated for injuries caused when their flight encountered severe turbulence has detailed the horrific extent of those injuries.

In a press conference and on Facebook, the Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital confirmed 22 passengers suffered spine and spinal cord injuries, while six have skull and brain injuries and another 13 suffered bone, muscle orother injuries. A 73-year-old British man died on Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, which was flying from London to Singapore on May 21 when the airplane hit bad weather and was diverted to Bangkok. In a statement, Singapore Airlines said two crew were among the injured.

In total, 211 passengers and 18 crew were on the flight when it descended 6,000 feet in approximately three minutes. A cause for the turbulence has yet to be determined. Passengers told the BBC of the moments when the plane suddenly dropped, and those who weren’t wearing their seatbelts “launched immediately into the ceiling.”

Some of the patients sustained multiple injuries, hospital director Adinun Kittiratanapaibool said at a news conference Thursday, adding it was too early to tell whether the injuries were permanent or not. None of those in ICU were in life-threatening condition, he said.

As of the afternoon of May 23, the total number of patients still hospitalized was 41. Most of those injured passengers are British (10), followed by nine Australians, seven Malaysians, and four Filipinos. Americans injured count for two while others included New Zealanders, Burmese, Irish and Icelandic.

Twenty-two of the injured are women and 19 male, the hospital added.

Initially, 85 passengers were transferred to various hospitals for treatment while another 19 patients received treatment at Samitivej Suvarnabhumi Medical Clinic, bringing the total number of patients to 104.

Passengers have detailed the terrifying experience, including Andrew Davies, who told CNN Wednesday that “hell broke loose” as the flight encountered turbulence.

“The plane just felt like it had dropped. It probably only lasted a few seconds, but I remember vividly seeing shoes and iPads and iPhones and cushions and blankets and cookware and plates and cups flying through the air and crashing into the ceiling,” he said. “The gentleman next to me had a cup of coffee which went straight all over me and up to the ceiling.”

Man on Deadly Singapore Airlines Flight Shares the Moment ‘All Hell Broke Loose’

Singapore Airlines said it is in contact with all the passengers and crew members who are still in Bangkok, and that its CEO, Goh Choon Phong, “has been meeting the affected passengers, crew, their family members and loved ones in Bangkok today to personally offer his support and to understand their concerns.”

Phong said in a statement: “The well-being of our passengers and crew members remains our priority. I have given them my personal assurance that we will take care of them during this difficult time. Our staff volunteers are here to provide each passenger with updates and the necessary assistance. We have also facilitated the travel of their family members and loved ones to Bangkok and ensured that they are taken care of too.

“On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I extend my deepest gratitude to everyone in Singapore, Thailand, and around the world, who have assisted us during this difficult time. This includes Singapore Changi Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport, as well as our other aviation partners. I would also like to especially thank the staff at Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, and Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, who have been caring tirelessly for our passengers and crew.”

Read more at The Daily Beast.

Get the Daily Beast's biggest scoops and scandals delivered right to your inbox. Sign up now.

Stay informed and gain unlimited access to the Daily Beast's unmatched reporting. Subscribe now.