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23 May 2024

Casualties from turbulence-hit flight need spinal operations – hospital

23 May 2024

Many of the most seriously injured people on a turbulence-hit flight on which a British man died need spinal operations, a hospital said.

A spokesman for Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in Bangkok said six Britons are among 20 people still in intensive care.

The hospital has provided medical care to a total of 104 people who were on the Singapore Airlines flight from Heathrow to Singapore which diverted to the Thai capital.

Other hospitals nearby have been asked to lend their best specialists to assist in the treatment of those injured.

Geoff Kitchen, 73, from Thornbury, Gloucestershire, died after suffering a suspected heart attack when the Boeing 777 plane hit severe turbulence.

He and his wife, Linda, planned to go on a cruise in Indonesia before travelling to Australia.

One passenger on board Flight SQ321 said the plane suffered a “dramatic drop”, meaning people not wearing a seatbelt were “launched immediately into the ceiling”.

Images posted on social media showed damage to the ceiling of the cabin, and food, cutlery and other debris strewn on the floor after the incident.

There were 211 passengers and 18 crew on board – including 47 passengers from the UK and four Irish nationals.

Flightradar24 said its tracking data showed the plane encountering turbulence at approximately 8.49am BST while flying over Myanmar.

The flight tracking service said data sent from the aircraft showed a “rapid change in vertical rate, consistent with a sudden turbulence event”, adding that there were “some severe” thunderstorms in the area at the time.

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