Europe tour for M'sian family on SQ321 ends in Bangkok hospital, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Europe tour for M'sian family on SQ321 ends in Bangkok hospital

Ms Eva Khoo panicked when she first learnt that her family, including her brother and pregnant sister-in-law, was on the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Flight SQ321 on May 21.

After the 47-year-old Malaysian event specialist got a call from the travel agency which her family booked the trip with, she flew to Bangkok. The Singapore-bound plane from London was diverted to the Thai capital after experiencing severe extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar.

Speaking to The Straits Times on May 24, she said her brother, Mr Khoo Boo Leong, 38, was flung up from his seat during the turbulence. He hit the overhead luggage compartment before falling onto the aisle.

Mr Khoo was treated at the intensive care unit (ICU), but has since moved to a normal ward, although his limbs are still in pain.

“He still cannot move normally,” said Ms Khoo, adding that he just had a second magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

She said he suffered injuries to his head and face. His eyesight appeared to have been affected as he confused certain hues and perceived dark shades as lighter ones.

During the turbulence, Mr Khoo’s wife, who is two months pregnant, was thrown onto the adjacent seat, resulting in fractures to her back.

The 33-year-old was advised to go for surgery, but it was a tough decision as she did not want to risk losing her baby, Ms Khoo told ST.

“It was horrible... but my brother said he had to save his wife first, for sure,” said Ms Khoo, adding that her sister-in-law underwent surgery on May 24.

Before the unexpected ordeal, the couple were on a 10-day group tour in Europe, visiting countries that include Switzerland and France. They were with four other family members and a friend.

They extended their trip by five days in London, and took the ill-fated flight to return to Malaysia, with a stopover in Singapore.

Among the group of seven, two of them were using the toilets when the severe turbulence struck. Mr Khoo’s father-in-law found himself in an awkward position with one leg in the sink. Up till May 24, he still cannot move, according to Ms Khoo’s update on Facebook.


Manage to see my brother father in-law, he can start drink and take some soupy food but still can't move or get down the...

Posted by Eva Khoo on Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Ms Khoo said SIA arranged for her business class flight to Bangkok on May 22. They took care of her accommodation and transport to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital and Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, where her family members are being treated.

SIA also helped retrieve her family’s belongings on the plane, she said.

She is not sure how long her family will stay in the Bangkok hospitals, but is relieved that she can be there for them, she added.