Industries News.Net

Singapore Airlines passengers of June 11 flight to be compensated

Robert Besser
14 Jun 2024

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia: Singapore Airlines announced on June 11 that it has offered compensation to passengers affected by extreme turbulence on a flight last month, which resulted in one death and numerous injuries.

The Boeing 777, carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members from London to Singapore, encountered severe turbulence over the Irrawaddy basin on May 20, causing chaos in the cabin. The plane diverted to Thailand as a result.

A 73-year-old British man died of a suspected heart attack, and dozens of passengers were hospitalized with injuries including spinal, brain, and bone damage. Nineteen people remained hospitalized in Bangkok.

Singapore Airlines has offered US$10,000 in compensation to 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.

Passengers needing long-term medical care will receive an advance payment of $25,000 for immediate needs, which will be part of the final compensation.

The airline will also provide full fare refunds to all passengers, including those without injuries, and delay compensation by EU and UK regulations. Additionally, each passenger received 1,000 Singapore dollars ($739) for immediate needs, medical expenses for injured passengers were covered, and arrangements were made for family members to fly to Bangkok.

A preliminary investigation by Singapore's Transport Ministry revealed the plane experienced significant swings in g-force within five seconds, likely causing injuries to unbuckled passengers. The jet dropped 178 feet (54 meters) in less than a second, causing unbelted occupants to be thrown around the cabin.

The turbulence reportedly struck while meals were being served, and many passengers were not wearing seat belts. Passengers described the incident as "sheer terror," with loose items flying and injured individuals lying on the floor.

The cause of the turbulence remains unclear. Clear air turbulence, which can occur in clear skies or near thunderstorms, is considered the most dangerous type due to its unpredictability.

According to a 2021 report by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board, turbulence accounted for 37.6 percent of all accidents on larger commercial airlines between 2009 and 2018. The Federal Aviation Administration reported 146 serious injuries from turbulence between 2009 and 2021.

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