Singapore’s Transport Safety Investigation Bureau (TSIB), an arm of the Transport Ministry, is opening an investigation into what happened on SQ321.

It says it has been in contact with its Thai counterparts and will send investigators to Bangkok.

SIA said it was over the Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet that the plane encountered “sudden extreme turbulence”. This took place 10 hours after departure from Heathrow.

The pilot then declared a medical emergency and diverted the plane to Bangkok, where it landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport at 3.45pm local time (4.45pm Singapore time).

A passenger who was on the flight told Reuters that the incident involved the sensation of rising then falling.

“Suddenly the aircraft starts tilting up and there was shaking so I started bracing for what was happening, and very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop so everyone seated and not wearing a seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling,” Dzafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student on board the flight told Reuters.

“Some people hit their heads on the baggage cabins overhead and dented it, they hit the places where lights and masks are and broke straight through it,” he said.

Kittikachorn, the Thai airport official, said most of the passengers he had spoken to had been wearing their seatbelts.

Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said it has been in contact with SIA, and the relevant Singapore and Thai authorities to coordinate assistance for the passengers and their families.

Staff from the Singapore Embassy in Bangkok are also at Suvarnabhumi Airport and the hospital to offer consular assistance to affected Singaporeans and their next-of-kin, it added.

“MFA extends our deepest condolences to the family of the deceased passenger and we wish those injured a quick and full recovery.”


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