Europe tour for Malaysian family on SQ321 ends in Bangkok hospital; expectant mother among injured

Eva Khoo's brother and sister-in-law were injured during flight SQ321 on May 21. - Courtesy of Eva Khoo

SINGAPORE: Eva Khoo panicked when she first learnt that her family, including her brother and two-month pregnant sister-in-law, was on the ill-fated Singapore Airlines (SIA) Flight SQ321 on May 21.

After the 34-year-old Malaysian event specialist got a call from the travel agency which her family booked the trip with, she flew to Bangkok, where the plane was diverted to after experiencing severe extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar.

Speaking to The Straits Times on Friday (May 24), she said her brother Khoo Boo Leong, 38, was flung up from his seat during a bout of severe turbulence that hit the Singapore bound-flight from London. He hit the overhead luggage compartment before falling onto the aisle.

Her brother was treated at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), but has since moved to a normal ward, although his limbs are still in pain.

“He still cannot move normally,” said Khoo, adding that he just had a second round of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan.

She said he suffered injuries to his head and face. His eyesight appeared to have been affected as he confused certain hues and perceived dark shades as lighter ones.

During the turbulence, Khoo’s wife, who is two months pregnant, was also thrown onto the adjacent seat, resulting in fractures to her back.

She was advised to go for surgery, but it was a tough decision as she did not want to risk losing her baby, Khoo told ST.

“It was horrible... but my brother said he had to save his wife first, for sure,” said Khoo, adding that her sister-in-law underwent surgery on May 24.

Before the unexpected ordeal, the couple were on a 10-day group tour in Europe, visiting countries including Switzerland and France. They were with four other family members and a friend.

They extended their trip by five days in London, and took the ill-fated flight to return to Malaysia with a stopover in Singapore.

Among the group of seven, two of them were using the lavatories when the severe turbulence struck. Khoo’s father-in-law found himself in an awkward position with one leg in the sink. He still cannot move at all as at May 24, according to Khoo’s update on Facebook.

Khoo said SIA arranged for her business class flight to Bangkok on May 22. They took care of her accommodation and transport to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital and Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital, where her family members are being treated.

SIA also helped retrieve her family’s belongings on the plane, she said.

She is not sure how long her family will stay in the Bangkok hospitals, but is relieved that she can be there for them, she added. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , SIA , turbulence , data , passengers , injuries


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