Singapore Airlines fatal flight: Passengers detail horrific moments of mid-air emergency

Max Corstorphan
The Nightly
Passengers have detailed the harrowing moments of “absolute terror” when intense turbulence caused a Singapore Airlines flight to plummet 6000 feet in seconds.
Passengers have detailed the harrowing moments of “absolute terror” when intense turbulence caused a Singapore Airlines flight to plummet 6000 feet in seconds. Credit: X

Passengers have detailed the harrowing moments of “absolute terror” when intense turbulence caused a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 flight to plummet 6000 feet in seconds, leaving a man dead.

Allison Barker, the mother of one of the passengers, shared a distressing message with the BBC that she received from her son Josh.

“I don’t want to scare you, but I’m on a crazy flight. The plane is making an emergency landing... I love you all,” the message said.

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“One minute, he was just sitting down wearing a seatbelt, the next minute, he must have blacked out because he found himself on the floor with other people,” Ms Barker told the outlet.

The mother did not hear from her son again for over two hours when he was able to message her to say he was safe and only suffered minor injuries.

There were 211 passengers on board the flight, including 56 Australians and 18 crew.

One passenger, 72-year-old Geoffrey Kitchen, suffered a suspected heart attack and died soon after, as the plane went into freefall for several minutes, throwing passengers into the ceiling and around the cabin.

Passenger Andrew Davis told the BBC he heard “awful screaming and what sounded like a thud”.

“The thing I remember the most is seeing objects and things flying through the air. I was covered in coffee. It was incredibly severe turbulence, Mr Davis recalled.

The Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 flight plummeted 6000 feet in seconds.
The Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 flight plummeted 6000 feet in seconds. Credit: Caleb Runciman/X/Unknown

Dzafran Azmir, another passenger on the flight, told Reuters: “I started bracing for what was happening, and very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop, so everyone seated and not wearing a seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling.

“Some people hit their heads on the baggage cabins overhead and dented it, they hit the places where lights and masks are and broke straight through it,” he told Reuters.

Details of the emergency paint an alarming image of what passengers endured. The captain turned on the seatbelt sign – but only a split-second later all hell broke loose.

The Boeing dropped out of the sky, plummeting almost a mile in altitude in 120 terrifying seconds. Passengers not strapped in were instantly launched to the ceiling and overhead lockers.

Passengers not strapped in were instantly launched to the ceiling and overhead lockers.
Passengers not strapped in were instantly launched to the ceiling and overhead lockers. Credit: X

Consular officials from the Australian Embassy in Bangkok are assisting eight Australians taken to hospital in Bangkok,” a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said on Wednesday.

“The Australian Embassy in Bangkok and the Australian High Commission in Singapore continue to make inquiries to confirm if any further Australians are affected.”

Singapore Airlines general manager Kittipong Kittikachorn of Suvarnabhumi Airport spoke at a news conference on Wednesday.

‘’Seven passengers were severely injured, and 23 passengers and nine crew members had moderate injuries. Sixteen with less serious injuries received hospital treatment and 14 were treated at the airport,’’ Kittikachorn said.

Geoffrey Kitchen, 72, suffered a suspected heart attack and died soon after, as the plane went into freefall for several minutes, throwing passengers into the ceiling and around the cabin.

Mr Kitchen was among the 211 passengers on board — including 56 Australians — and 18 crew.

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