Passengers of flight in which British man died offered compensation

11 June 2024, 08:14

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER aircraft which encountered severe turbulence is parked at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, near Bangkok, Thailand
Thailand Singapore Flight. Picture: PA

A 73-year-old British man died of a suspected heart attack and dozens were taken to hospital after the incident in May.

Compensation has been offered to passengers of a Singapore Airlines flight which hit extreme turbulence last month in a rare case that killed one passenger and injured dozens.

The Boeing 777 jet carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew from London to Singapore ran into sudden turbulence over the Irrawaddy basin in Myanmar on May 20, hurling people and items around the cabin. The plane diverted to Thailand.

British man Geoff Kitchen, 73, died of a suspected heart attack and dozens were taken to hospital including those with spinal, brain and bone or organ injuries.

Singapore Airlines said it has offered 10,000 US dollars (£7,850) in compensation for passengers with minor injuries.

“For those who sustained more serious injuries from the incident, we have invited them to discuss a compensation offer to meet each of their specific circumstances when they feel well and ready to do so,” it said in a statement.

Those medically assessed to have sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care and requesting financial assistance will receive an advance payment of 25,000 dollars (£19,620) for their immediate needs, it said.

“This will be part of the final compensation that these passengers will receive,” it said.

The airline said it will also provide full air fare refunds to all passengers on the flight, including those without any injuries. All passengers will also receive delay compensation in accordance with European Union or UK regulations, it said.

The airline added that it had already given all passengers 1,000 Singapore dollars (£580) each for their immediate needs, covered medical expenses of injured passengers, and arranged for their family members and loved ones to fly up to Bangkok where requested.

A preliminary investigation by Singapore’s Transport Ministry said the plane went through huge swings in g-force in less than five seconds, likely causing the injuries to people who were not buckled into their seats.

It said the jet dropped 178ft in less than one second, which “likely resulted in the occupants who were not belted up to become airborne” before falling back down.

Officials said the turbulence was believed to have struck when meals were being served and many people were not using seat belts.

Passengers have described the “ sheer terror ” of the aircraft shuddering, loose items flying and injured people lying paralysed on the floor of the plane.

By Press Association

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