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Bangkok Hospital: Spinal surgery is needed for several injured passengers on turbulence-hit Singapore flight

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Bangkok Hospital: Spinal surgery is needed for several injured passengers on turbulence-hit Singapore flight

(CTN News) – According to a Bangkok hospital, several passengers on the Singapore Airlines flight that experienced extreme turbulence required spinal surgery.

Twenty people remained in intensive care, and a 73-year-old British man died after the Boeing 777, which was flying from London’s Heathrow Airport to Singapore, dropped sharply after encountering turbulence over the Andaman Sea on Tuesday.

A public relations official for Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, which has treated over 100 persons injured by the incident, told The Associated Press that other area hospitals have been invited to offer their finest doctors to help with the procedures. He wanted not to be identified due to hospital policy.

Passengers recalled the “sheer terror” of the airplane trembling, loose items flying, and injured people lying immobilized on the plane’s floor.

It is unclear what triggered the turbulence that sent the plane, which was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, plummeting 6,000 feet (1,800 meters) in about three minutes. The flight from London to Singapore was redirected to Bangkok.

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In one of the most recent descriptions of the turmoil on board, 43-year-old Malaysian Amelia Lim recalled finding herself face down on the floor.

“I was afraid…” I could see so many people on the floor, and they were all bleeding. “There was blood on the floor and on the people,” she told the online Malay Mail daily.

The woman sitting next to her was “motionless in the aisle and unable to move, most likely suffering from a hip or spinal injury,” she said.

Twenty Singapore Airlines Passengers in Intensive Care After Heavy Turbulence

Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital said that the ICU patients comprised six Britons, six Malaysians, three Australians, two Singaporeans, and one each from Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the Philippines. It said it had treated 104 people.

Thai authorities believe the British man who died suffered a heart attack. Passengers told how the flight crew attempted to revive him by conducting CPR for around 20 minutes.

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Most people associate turbulence with severe storms, yet clear air turbulence is the most deadly. Wind shear can occur in wispy cirrus clouds or even in clear air near thunderstorms, where temperature and pressure differences cause intense currents of fast-moving air.

According to a 2021 research by the United States National Transportation Safety Board, turbulence caused 37.6% of all incidents on bigger commercial aircraft between 2009 and 2018. The Federal Aviation Administration, another US government entity, reported 146 significant turbulence injuries between 2009 and 2021.

London-based tourism and aviation specialist Anita Mendiratta described the extreme turbulence as “extremely unusual.”

She advised passengers to follow instructions to keep their seatbelts on, store hand luggage carefully while not in use, and limit the number of goods stored in overhead bins.

“When there is turbulence, those doors can open and all of the items up top, whether it’s our hand baggage, our jackets, our duty free items, they become movable and they become a risk to us all,” she told the AP.

Arsi Mughal is a staff writer at CTN News, delivering insightful and engaging content on a wide range of topics. With a knack for clear and concise writing, he crafts articles that resonate with readers. Arsi's pieces are well-researched, informative, and presented in a straightforward manner, making complex subjects accessible to a broad audience. His writing style strikes the perfect balance between professionalism and casual approachability, ensuring an enjoyable reading experience.

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