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43 turbulence injured remain hospitalised in Bangkok

ANN/THE STRAITS TIMES – A total of 43 passengers injured during severe air turbulence on Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321 on May 21 remain hospitalised yesterday, said the Bangkok hospital treating most of the passengers.

According to an update from Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, 34 passengers remain on its premises as at noon yesterday. Another seven are at Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital and two are at Bangkok Hospital.

The 34 at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital – comprising 15 men and 19 women – hail from countries such as Australia, Britain, Malaysia, and the Philippines. Seven are in the intensive care unit (ICU).

The hospital added that two patients have been discharged from Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, while two patients were transferred from Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital to join their hospitalised relatives. It was reported on May 24 that a Singaporean who was previously in the ICU at a Bangkok hospital has been discharged. Samitivej is a group of private hospitals that typically serves Bangkok’s higher-income and expatriate population.

Flight SQ321, which was heading to Singapore from London, experienced sudden extreme turbulence on May 21 over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar. One passenger – 73-year-old Briton Geoffrey Kitchen – died while dozens were injured. The pilot diverted the Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after declaring a medical emergency, before making an emergency landing at 3.45pm.

Seven patients involved in the SQ321 incident are in the intensive care unit at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital. PHOTO: THE STRAITS TIMES