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Singapore Airlines provides compensation to passengers affected by severe turbulence on flight SQ321

Image Credits: UnsplashImage Credits: Unsplash
  • Singapore Airlines has offered $US10,000 ($15,150) in compensation to passengers with minor injuries and invited those with serious injuries to discuss further compensation.
  • The airline is covering medical expenses and has provided advance payments of $US25,000 for passengers requiring long-term medical care.
  • All passengers on flight SQ321 will receive a full refund of their airfare and $S1,000 ($1,120) for immediate expenses in Bangkok.

Singapore Airlines (SIA) has announced compensation for passengers who were on board flight SQ321, which encountered severe turbulence on May 21, 2024. The flight, en route from London to Singapore, experienced extreme turbulence while flying over Myanmar, leading to a tragic outcome and numerous injuries.

Flight SQ321, a Boeing 777-300ER, was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members when it was hit by sudden and extreme turbulence. The turbulence was so severe that it caused passengers and crew to be flung around the cabin, with some being slammed into the ceiling. The plane had to make an emergency landing in Bangkok, where passengers received immediate medical attention.

A 73-year-old man tragically died of a suspected heart attack during the incident. Additionally, dozens of passengers sustained injuries, including spinal cord, brain, and skull injuries. As of June 4, more than two weeks after the flight, 20 passengers were still receiving medical care in Bangkok hospitals.

Compensation and Support

In response to the incident, Singapore Airlines has offered various forms of compensation and support to the affected passengers. The airline has provided $US10,000 ($15,150) in compensation to those who sustained minor injuries. For passengers with more serious injuries, the airline has invited them to discuss further compensation offers. Additionally, passengers requiring long-term medical care have been offered an advance payment of $US25,000 to address their immediate needs.

The airline has also committed to covering the medical expenses of the injured passengers and has arranged for their family members and loved ones to fly to Bangkok if requested. Furthermore, all passengers on flight SQ321 will receive a full refund of their airfare, regardless of whether they were injured. To meet immediate expenses in Bangkok, each passenger was provided with $S1,000 ($1,120).

Safety and Seatbelt Practices

The incident has brought attention to the importance of seatbelt practices during flights. Airlines typically allow passengers to undo their seatbelts during normal cruise conditions but recommend keeping them fastened. A preliminary report by Singapore's Transport Ministry indicated that a rapid change in gravitational force and a 54-meter altitude drop likely caused passengers and crew to become airborne. The plane was flying over an area of "developing convective activity," which refers to developing bad weather.

Singapore Airlines' response to this tragic incident highlights the importance of passenger safety and the airline's commitment to supporting those affected. The compensation and support provided aim to address the immediate and long-term needs of the passengers, ensuring they receive the necessary care and assistance.

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