Turbulence-Hit Singapore Airlines Flight Passengers Undergo Treatment For Brain, Spinal And Bone Injuries

The oldest patient at Bangkok's Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital is 83-years-old, while the youngest is just two.

Passengers are suffering from brain, spinal, skull and bone injuries. Photo: AP/X

As many as 22 passengers of the Singapore Airlines flight that was hit by severe turbulence, are suffering from spinal cord, brain and skull injuries.

Twenty people remain in intensive care at a hospital in the Thai capital, Bangkok.

The director of Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, Dr Adninun Kittiratanapaibool, said that six people were being treated for skull and brain injuries while 22 for spinal injuries and 13 for bone, muscle and other injuries, AFP reported.

"We have never treated people with these kinds of injuries caused by turbulence," he was quoted as saying.

The oldest patient at the hospital is 83-year-old, while the youngest is just two.

The Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, which took off from London's Heathrow airport, encountered a "sudden extreme turbulence" on May 21. The flight descended 6,000 feet (around 1,800 meters) in a span of about three minutes.

The Boeing 777 flight was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members that day. A 73-year-old British passenger, Briton Geoffrey Kitchen, reportedly died due to a heart attack during the turbulence.

People were swung around the cabin so aggressively that it caused dents in the ceiling during the turbulence at 37,000 feet, one of the passengers was cited by AFP.

"I fell onto the floor, I didn't realise what happened. I must have hit my head somewhere. Everyone was screaming on the plane. People were scared," another said.

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong on Tuesday issued a public apology for the traumatic experience that everyone onboard SQ321 went through and said, "We are very sorry".

Expressing condolences to the family of the deceased, Phong added that their "priority is to render all possible assistance to our passengers and crew members."

In a Facebook post on Thursday night, the Airlines said that 65 passengers and two crew members were still in Bangkok.

"Customer Care Representatives, who are staff volunteers trained for such situations, have been assigned to provide updates and the necessary support and assistance to each passenger during this difficult time," the post said.

It said that CEO Phong has been "meeting the affected passengers, crew, their family members and loved ones in Bangkok", on Thursday.

"The well-being of our passengers and crew members remains our priority. I have given them my personal assurance that we will take care of them during this difficult time," the Singapore Airlines CEO said.

He said that travel of the family members and loved ones to Bangkok has also been facilitated by the Airlines, adding that they are being taken care of as well.

He extended his gratitude towards the the staff at Bangkok Hospital, Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, and Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, for "caring tirelessly for our passengers and crew".

Phong thanked both the Singapore Changi Airport and Suvarnabhumi Airport, as well as their other aviation partners.

(With inputs from agencies)