Gloucestershire man dies in severe turbulence onboard Singapore Airlines flight

Geoffrey Ralph Kitchen was killed during turbulence on a Singapore Airlines flight
Geoffrey Ralph Kitchen -Credit:Viral Press

A British airline passenger who died following a heart attack after the Boeing 777 he was travelling in encountered severe turbulence has been named. Geoffrey Ralph Kitchen, 73, believed to be from Thornbury, Gloucestershire, died when the Singapore Airlines flight from Heathrow Airport hit severe turbulence.

A spokesman for Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, where the flight was diverted to, said the 73-year-old man suffered a suspected heart attack. He added that seven other people were seriously injured, with dozens more suffering minor injuries.

Singapore Airlines said the flight encountered "sudden extreme turbulence" over Myanmar's Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet about 10 hours after departure, with the pilot declaring a medical emergency and diverting the plane to Bangkok.

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Geoffrey, 73, is thought to have been violently thrown around when the plane hit dangerous conditions at 37,000ft above the Indian Ocean. The aircraft, en route to Singapore, was forced to make an emergency landing at Suvarnabhumi International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand.

Pictures from the scene depict emergency services swarming the jet, but sadly, Mr Kitchen was declared dead. Photos reveal frightened passengers and food and debris scattered on the floor of the aircraft following the disturbance. An air hostess is also seen with a bloody injury to her face amidst the turmoil.

There were 211 passengers and 18 crew on board - including 47 passengers from the UK. Singapore Airlines said: "Singapore Airlines flight SQ321, operating from London Heathrow to Singapore on May 20, encountered severe turbulence en route.

"We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board. Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased."

In an update published on social media on Tuesday afternoon, Singapore Airlines said: "The nationalities of the passengers are as follows: 56 from Australia, two from Canada, one from Germany, three from India, two from Indonesia, one from Iceland, four from Ireland, one from Israel, 16 from Malaysia, two from Myanmar, 23 from New Zealand, five from the Philippines, 41 from Singapore, one from South Korea, two from Spain, 47 from the United Kingdom, and four from the United States of America."