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Passengers with injuries from Singapore Airlines flight offered compensation

PHOTO: Salt Wire

Passengers who suffered minor injuries due to the severe turbulence incident on a Singapore Airlines flight have been offered 360,000 baht compensation.

According to a Reuters report, the airline has written to passengers who sustained minor injuries, while saying those with more serious injuries will be offered compensation to meet their specific needs.

“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.”

The carrier adds that the initial offer of $25,000 (over 900,000 baht) will form part of any final settlement.

SQ321, flying from London to Singapore on May 21, was diverted to Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport after encountering severe turbulence in which one man died and over 100 other passengers and crew were injured.

The passenger who died has been named as 73 year old British national, Geoffrey Kitchen, who is believed to have suffered a heart attack.

The turbulence struck out of the blue as the aircraft was flying over Myanmar. According to passengers, the cabin crew and anyone else not wearing a seatbelt at the time were flung to the ceiling, with many passengers slammed into overhead lockers.

One doctor at a Bangkok hospital treating the seriously injured says many sustained spinal cord, brain, and skull injuries. Two weeks after the flight, Singapore Airlines confirmed there were still 20 passengers receiving hospital treatment in the Thai capital.

The carrier says all passengers will be refunded the cost of their airfares, as well as receiving compensation in line with UK law.

Singapore’s Transport Ministry says the turbulence was the result of an abrupt change in gravitational force and a sudden 54 metre drop in altitude. The ministry says it’s likely the plane was flying over an area of developing “convective activity” (bad weather) at the time.

The flight was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members. The incident has ignited a focus on the wearing of seatbelts. Typically, airlines say seatbelts should be kept fastened at all times while seated but this is a recommendation and not a requirement – yet.

SOURCE: Reuters

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