singapore airlines turbulence

Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321: Turbulence Incident En Route to Bangkok

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Date and Flight Details: On May 20, 2024, Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, a Boeing 777-300ER, encountered severe turbulence while en route from London Heathrow to Singapore. The turbulence incident occurred over the Andaman Sea near Myanmar, resulting in a sharp descent of approximately 6,000 feet within a few minutes. This forced the aircraft to divert and make an emergency landing at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3:45 PM local time on May 21, 2024​ (The Journal)​​ (Shropshire Star)​.

One dead, several injured after severe turbulence hits Singapore Airlines flight

Impact and Casualties

Tragically, one passenger, identified as a British national, suffered a heart attack during the incident and was pronounced dead upon arrival in Bangkok. Additionally, 30 other passengers sustained injuries. Eighteen of these passengers were hospitalized, while the remaining 12 were treated for minor injuries and released. The incident also caused significant cabin damage, with reports of food, cutlery, and other debris strewn across the floor​ (YouTube)​​ (Shropshire Star)​.

Emergency Response

Upon landing, emergency crews swiftly attended to the injured passengers. Airports of Thailand assisted the non-injured and lightly injured passengers in a specially designated area within the terminal. Singapore Airlines arranged for another aircraft to transport these passengers to Singapore later that night​ (The Journal)​​ (BusinessStockAfrica)​.

Statements from Authorities

Singapore Airlines expressed deep condolences to the family of the deceased and emphasized their commitment to providing necessary assistance to all affected passengers. Singapore’s Transport Minister, Chee Hong Tat, also extended condolences and highlighted the coordinated efforts of various Singaporean authorities and airline staff to support the victims and their families​.

Expert Insights on Turbulence

Turbulence, while a common occurrence during flights, can sometimes be severe and unpredictable. Aviation experts noted that turbulence incidents, although rare, are taken very seriously. Airlines utilize weather forecasts, radar, and reports from other aircraft to mitigate turbulence risks. Passengers are always advised to keep their seatbelts fastened when seated to reduce injury risks during sudden turbulence.


The severe turbulence experienced by Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 underscores the unpredictable nature of air travel and the importance of adhering to safety protocols. The incident serves as a reminder of the critical role played by emergency response teams and the measures airlines take to ensure passenger safety. Singapore Airlines continues to work closely with Thai authorities to provide ongoing support to the affected passengers and their families.

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