Singapore Airlines CEO issues apology, passengers recount “traumatic” turbulence incident

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Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong issued an apology on Tuesday, one day after a flight heading from London to Singapore encountered severe turbulence, injuring 30 passengers and killing a 73-year-old British man.

“On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased,” Phong said in a video message. “We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board [Flight] SQ321 went through.”

Recovering from their own injuries, passengers recounted their personal experiences aboard the fatal flight. “I saw people from across the aisle just going completely horizontal, hitting the ceiling and landing back down in really awkward positions,” 28-year-old passenger Dzafran Azmir told reporters. “People getting massive gashes in the head,” he added.

“Every single cabin crew I saw was injured. I didn’t see anybody who worked for Singapore Airlines that was not injured,” 54-year-old Andrew Davis said, adding that he comforted the wife of the deceased passenger – who was also injured – for a while.

“I think this incident will prompt airlines, whether it’s an official mandate or not. But airlines saying we recommend you keep your seatbelt fastened while seated. They should be saying it is mandatory,” Airlineratings Editor-in-Chief Geoffrey Thomas said.

Thomas says the incident was simply weather-related and that the pilots responded as professionally as they could, adding that it will not impact their ratings. An investigation into the incident is ongoing, and Singapore Airlines is cooperating, according to the CEO.

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