Singapore Airlines horror: 22 injured passengers need spinal surgery, six suffer brain injuries, says hospital

Severe Turbulence on Singapore Airlines Flight Causes Major Injuries and a Death

About Singapore Airlines:

Singapore Airlines, one of the world’s leading carriers, is renowned for its exceptional service, operational excellence, and extensive global network. Operating a modern fleet that includes the Airbus A350 and Boeing 787 Dreamliner, the airline connects over 130 destinations across more than 40 countries. With its hub at Changi Airport, consistently ranked among the best in the world, Singapore Airlines offers a range of services that cater to both business and leisure travelers. The airline is known for its commitment to safety, innovation, and customer satisfaction, making it a preferred choice for millions of passengers annually.

For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2024, Singapore Airlines reported an annual revenue of $19.01 billion. This reflects a 6.96% growth from the previous year. This growth underscores the airline’s recovery and operational strength in the post-pandemic era, as it continues to expand its services and enhance passenger experiences globally​.

singapore airlines crisis

The Incident:

Learn about the severe turbulence incident on a Singapore Airlines flight that led to serious passenger injuries, including spinal surgeries and one fatality. Discover detailed accounts and hospital updates.

Several passengers from a Singapore Airlines flight that experienced severe turbulence earlier this week will require spinal surgery, as announced by a Bangkok hospital on Thursday, May 23. The turbulence, encountered over the Andaman Sea during the Boeing 777’s journey from London’s Heathrow Airport to Singapore, resulted in the death of a 73-year-old British man and left 20 individuals in intensive care.

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, which is treating most of the 104 injured passengers, reported that they have asked other local hospitals to provide top specialists to assist with treatments. A hospital spokesperson, speaking on condition of anonymity, shared these details with the Associated Press.

Hospital Report and Patient Conditions

At a news conference, Hospital Director Adinun Kittiratanapaibool confirmed that none of the 20 ICU patients are in life-threatening condition. The injured include six Britons, six Malaysians, three Australians, two Singaporeans, and one person each from Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the Philippines.

As of Thursday morning, 41 individuals remain at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, with injuries ranging from spinal to skull and brain injuries. The hospital has already performed 17 surgeries, including nine for spinal injuries. Thirteen other patients are receiving care at two other branches of the hospital.

Passenger Experiences and Incident Details

Passengers on the ill-fated flight described the terror they experienced. The aircraft shuddered violently, causing loose items and passengers to be thrown around the cabin. The plane rapidly descended 6,000 feet in about three minutes, with the exact cause of the turbulence still unclear. The flight, carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, was diverted to Thailand.

Malaysian passenger Amelia Lim, 43, recounted the chaos to the Malay Mail, describing how injured passengers lay immobile and in pools of blood. She mentioned a woman next to her who appeared severely injured and motionless in the aisle.

Fatality and Emergency Response

Thai authorities suggested that the deceased British man might have suffered a heart attack. Passengers reported that the flight crew performed CPR on him for about 20 minutes. On Wednesday morning, a special Singapore Airlines flight transported 143 uninjured or lightly injured passengers to Singapore.

Hospital’s Ongoing Efforts

The hospital’s director mentioned that it is too early to determine if any patients will suffer permanent paralysis, as doctors continue to monitor muscle function recovery post-surgery. The hospital is working diligently to treat all injuries, with a focus on spinal and head trauma.


This tragic incident highlights the severe impact of unexpected turbulence on air travel safety. As investigations continue, Singapore Airlines has vowed full support to the affected passengers and their families. The airline’s CEO has apologized for the incident and assured that all necessary measures will be taken to prevent such occurrences in the future.

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