SIA passenger who died was British man who likely had heart attack, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

SIA passenger who died was British man who likely had heart attack

In a Facebook post on May 21, Singapore Airlines announced that its flight SQ321 encountered severe turbulence en-route from Heathrow Airport in London to Changi Airport.

The May 20 flight had to be diverted and landed in Bangkok, Thailand, at 3.45pm local time.

Singapore Airlines confirmed that there were injuries and one person died on board the Boeing 777-300ER.

Mr Kittipong Kittikachorn confirmed during a press conference that a 73-year-old British passenger died from a suspected heart attack.

He has been named by multiple British media outlets as Mr Geoffrey Kitchen, a musical theatre director from Bristol, England. His wife Linda was also taken to hospital.

Mr Geoffrey Kitchen was a musical theatre director from Bristol, England.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/GEOFF.KITCHEN.75

The pair, who have a son and daughter, were reportedly headed to Singapore on holiday.

There were a total of 211 passengers and 18 crew members on board the flight from London.

Singapore Airlines has confirmed the nationalities of the affected passengers:

  • 56 from Australia
  • 2 from Canada
  • 1 from Germany
  • 3 from India
  • 2 from Indonesia
  • 1 from Iceland
  • 4 from Ireland
  • 1 from Israel
  • 16 from Malaysia
  • 2 from Myanmar
  • 23 from New Zealand
  • 5 from the Philippines
  • 41 from Singapore
  • 1 from South Korea
  • 2 from Spain
  • 47 from the UK
  • 4 from the US

The airlines offered its "deepest condolences to the family of the deceased" and added that it was providing assistance to all the passengers and crew member who were on board the aircraft.

It is also working with the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary medical assistance, and has sent 50 staff members to support the passengers in Bangkok.

Mr Dzafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student on board the flight told Reuters: “Suddenly the aircraft starts tilting up and there was shaking, so I started bracing (myself) for what was happening, and very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop, so everyone seated and not wearing (a) seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling.

“Some people hit their heads on the baggage cabins overhead and dented it, they hit the places where lights and masks are and broke straight through it."

Prime Minister Lawrence Wong extended his condolences to “family members and loved ones of the deceased” in a Facebook post.

“Unfortunately, we are marking Vesak Day this year with news of the incident on the SQ321 flight earlier today. We are all saddened and shocked by what happened,” he said.

He added that Singapore is working closely with the Thai authorities and “doing everything we can to support the passengers and crew”.

“We pray for their safe return and smooth recovery for those who are injured. We are still getting more information from Bangkok and will provide further updates in due course,” he said.

Singapore President Tharman Shanmugaratnam said in a Facebook post that he was “greatly saddened by the loss of life” and injuries aboard SQ321.

“My deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased. We must hope and pray that the passengers or crew members who were injured are able to recover smoothly.

“We do not have the details of those affected, but know that the government ministries and agencies, as well as SIA, are doing their utmost to support all those affected and working with the authorities in Bangkok, where the plane had been diverted to,” Mr Tharman said.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it has been in contact with Singapore Airlines and the relevant Singapore and Thai authorities to coordinate assistance for SQ321 passengers.

“The Singapore Embassy in Bangkok is on-site at Suvarnabhumi Airport and the hospital to render the necessary consular assistance to affected Singaporeans and their next-of-kin,” MFA said in a statement.

“MFA extends our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased passenger, and we wish those injured a quick and full recovery,” the ministry added.

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