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Singapore flight turbulence: Passengers to get compensation

June 11, 2024

Passangers who sustained minor injureies after a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 was hit by severe turbulence have been offered $10,000 in compensation.

 Interior of Singapore Airline flight SQ321 is pictured after an emergency landing
Several people were injured as Singapore-bound flight was hit by violent turbulenceImage: REUTERS

Singapore Airlines said Tuesday it offered compensation to the passengers who were on board a flight last month that experienced severe turbulence, leaving dozens of people with injuries and one person dead.

To cover the immediate medical expenses, the airline has already given 1,000 Singapore Dollars (€684, $739) to each passenger departing Bangkok, it said. 

What Singapore Airlines has said

The airline said that it has offered $10,000 (€9,286) in compensation for passengers with minor injuries.

"For those who sustained more serious injuries... 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," the airline said.

"Passengers medically assessed as having sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care, and requesting financial assistance are offered an advance payment of $25,000 to address their immediate needs," that will form part of any final settlement, it added.

Severe turbulence kills at least one on Singapore flight

The airline also said it would refund full airfare of all the passengers that were on board, even those who did not sustain any injury.

"All passengers will also receive delay compensation in accordance with the relevant European Union or United Kingdom regulations," it said.

What happened on the flight?

The Singapore-bound Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers from London hit sudden turbulence over the Irrawaddy basin in May, forcing the pilot to divert the flight to Bangkok.

The violent turbulence was strong enough to hurl people and objects around the cabin.

The mid-air turmoil led to the death of a 73-year-old British national from a suspected heart attack and left dozens head and back injuries.

According to a preliminary investigation, the huge swings of the plane caused injuries to those not wearing seat belts.

The investigating authorities said the aircraft dropped 54 meters (178 feet) in less than one second, which "likely resulted in the occupants who were not belted up to become airborne" before falling back down.

The incident has brought focus to the lax seatbelt-wearing practices.

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mfi/kb (AP, AFP, Reuters)