Two S'poreans among 20 from SQ321 remain in ICU in Bangkok, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Two S'poreans among 20 from SQ321 remain in ICU in Bangkok

Twenty people hurt during severe air turbulence on Singapore Airlines (SIA) Flight SQ321 on May 21 remained under intensive care on May 22, according to the Bangkok hospital treating most of the passengers.

Out of the 20, two are Singaporeans. The rest are from Australia, Britain, Malaysia, Hong Kong, New Zealand and the Philippines.

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital added on May 22 that 27 patients have been discharged, while a further 38 were being treated as inpatients at the hospital as well as at Samitivej Sukhumvit and Bangkok hospitals.

Samitivej is a group of private hospitals that typically serves Bangkok’s higher-income and expatriate population. But it has received intense media attention since Flight SQ321 from London to Singapore was forced to make an emergency landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport on the afternoon of May 21, and most of the passengers on board needing medical attention were evacuated to Samitivej Srinakarin.

One person, 73-year-old British national Geoffrey Kitchen, died during the incident.

Amid unconfirmed reports in Thai media that another patient had died in the hospital, Samitivej Srinakarin issued a statement late in the evening of May 21 saying it was treating 61 patients, and denied that there had been an additional fatality.

There was a steady stream of ambulances transferring some patients to other hospitals for treatment as harried British embassy staff were seen entering and leaving a cordoned-off area.

As at 1pm local time on May 22, 41 patients remained hospitalised in Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, and 15 in Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital. Another two were in Bangkok Hospital.

Nine patients had “successful” surgery in Samitivej Srinakarin on May 21 and were in a stable condition, it said. Another five were expected to undergo surgery on May 22.

The hospital thanked all government and private agencies that cooperated in transporting the patients.

More than two dozen Thai and foreign journalists camped out at the hospital’s lobby on May 22.

Regular patients entering the hospital were greeted with a row of television cameras placed before a giant screen showing scenes of a waterfall in slow motion. A baby grand piano sat quietly in the lobby, its seat converted into an impromptu workstation for journalists present.

In one corner, a staff member from SIA commented to her companion: “I haven’t slept since last night.” The wan executive had been stationed there to help passengers and their kin arrange accommodation and onward airline journeys from Bangkok.

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