British man who died after severe turbulence on Singapore Airlines flight was from Bristol, reports Bristol Live


Geoffrey Ralph Kitchen, aged 73. - Photo from Facebook via Bristol LIve

THE first picture of a British holidaymaker who tragically died following a heart attack after severe turbulence on a Boeing 777 he was aboard has been released. Geoffrey Ralph Kitchen, aged 73, reports Bristol Live.

He is believed to be a resident of Thornbury, Gloucestershire, near Bristol, died on board the plane when the Singapore Airlines flight from Heathrow Airport hit severe turbulence.

An official of Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the plane was forced to land, said that the British man died of a suspected cardiac arrest. He added that seven other passengers were seriously injured, accompanied by dozens more sustaining minor injuries.

It is believed that Geoffrey, 73, encountered violent disruptions when the aircraft plunged into hazardous conditions at an elevation of 37,000ft above the Indian Ocean. flight going towards Singapore then executed an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi International Airport, according to reports.

On board were 211 passengers and 18 crew members, including 47 UK passengers. Singapore Airlines stated: "Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, operating from London Heathrow to Singapore on May 20, encountered severe turbulence en route."

"We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board. Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased."

In a Tuesday afternoon social media update, Singapore Airlines revealed: "The nationalities of the passengers are as follows: 56 from Australia, two from Canada, one from Germany, three from India, two from Indonesia, one from Iceland, four from Ireland, one from Israel, 16 from Malaysia, two from Myanmar, 23 from New Zealand, five from the Philippines, 41 from Singapore, one from South Korea, two from Spain, 47 from the United Kingdom, and four from the United States of America."

Meanwhile, Bernama reported that 131 passengers and 12 crew of the Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 that was forced to make an emergency landing at Suvarnabhumi Airport, Tuesday afternoon, arrived in Singapore on a relief flight at 5.05am on Wednesday.

Singapore Airlines chief executive officer (CEO) Goh Choon Phong said another 79 passengers and six crew members are still in Bangkok, including the injured who are receiving medical treatment, as well as their families.

"Singapore Airlines will continue to extend all possible support to them. Please be assured that Singapore Airlines is here to help and support you during this difficult time,” he said in a video message uploaded on Facebook.

The flight with 211 passengers and 18 crew members were travelling from London to Singapore when it encountered sudden extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin at an altitude of 37,000 feet, approximately 10 hours after departure.

The pilot declared a medical emergency and diverted the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft to Bangkok, landing at 3.45pm local time, Tuesday.

The incident caused one death and multiple injuries. Suvarnabhumi Airport director Kittipong Kittikachorn earlier said the one fatality in the incident was a 73-year-old British man.

Meanwhile, Goh said the airline is fully cooperating with the relevant authorities on the investigations.

"On behalf of Singapore Airlines, I would like to express my deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased. We are very sorry for the traumatic experience that everyone on board SQ321 went through,” he added.

Meanwhile, Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said officers from the Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB) has arrived in Bangkok Tuesday night.

The Transport Ministry on Tuesday said TSIB is investigating the incident.

Chee said the United States’ National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is also sending an accredited representative and four technical advisors to support the investigation, as the incident involves a Boeing 777-300ER aircraft,

"I would like to thank the Thai authorities for their support to evacuate the passengers and crew, providing medical assistance and looking after those affected by this unfortunate incident," he said on Facebook.

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