Plane involved in SQ321 incident returns to Singapore

The stranded SQ321 plane seen on the tarmac at Survanabhumi Airport, Bangkok on May 25. - LIANHE ZAOBAO

SINGAPORE: The Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane which experienced severe air turbulence on May 21, resulting in one death and several injuries, returned to Singapore on May 26, after being cleared for departure.

In response to queries from The Straits Times, an SIA spokesperson said that the aircraft 9V-SWM, which is a Boeing 777-300ER, was flown back from Bangkok on Sunday (May 26) and landed at 1.39pm.

Said the spokesperson: “SIA obtained the necessary approvals from the relevant authorities in Singapore and Thailand, the investigators, and the aircraft manufacturer, and the aircraft was cleared by our Engineering and Flight Operations teams, before departure.”

The spokesperson added that SIA is fully cooperating with the relevant authorities in the investigation into this incident.

SQ321 had experienced turbulence on May 21 over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar, about 10 hours after leaving London for Singpaore.

The pilot diverted the plane carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after declaring a medical emergency, before making an emergency landing at 3.45pm (4.45pm Singapore time).

The passengers on SQ321 included 41 Singaporeans, with the remaining 170 from countries such as Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand and Britain.

The dead passenger has been identified as a 73-year-old Briton, Mr Geoff Kitchen. He was a retired insurance professional and musical theatre director at the time of his death, according to British media reports.

The father of two and his wife, who was also on the flight and later taken to hospital, were en route to a six-week holiday and were intending to visit Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Australia.

A total of 44 people - 43 passengers and one crew member - remain hospitalised, said SIA in a Facebook post on May 25. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , SIA , turbulence , plane , return


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