Singapore Airlines passengers describe carnage as flight hit severe turbulence: 'People were launched to the ceiling'

Singapore Airlines passengers describe carnage as flight hit severe turbulence: 'People were launched to the ceiling'

Passengers have told how people suffered head injuries after being launched into the ceiling on a Singapore Airlines plane that hit “severe” turbulence.

A 73-year-old British man died and at least 30 people were injured in the incident, which happened en-route to Singapore on Tuesday.

Passengers have told how people not wearing seatbelts were “launched immediately to the ceiling”, suffering head lacerations and “bleeding ears”.

Andrew Davies, a father-of-two from Lewisham, told on X how the plane “just dropped”, throwing people’s belongings across the cabin and leaving “so many” injured.

He said there had been “very little warning” before the turbulence, which happened when passengers were having breakfast.

“The seatbelt sign came on, I put on my seatbelt straightaway then the plane just dropped,” he wrote.

“People’s belongings scattered, coffee and water splattered the ceiling. Surreal.

“So many injured people. Head lacerations, bleeding ears. A lady was screaming in pain with a bad back. I couldn’t help her - just got her water.

“My heart goes out to the gentleman who lost his life and his poor wife,” he added. “Awful experience.”

Flight SQ321, carrying 211 passenger and 18 crew, left Heathrow for Singapore shortly after 10pm on Monday, UK time.

After what the airline described as “severe turbulence”, it made its emergency landing in Bangkok around 9.45am on Tuesday, UK time (3.45pm in Bangkok).

The aftermath of the plane (REUTERS)
The aftermath of the plane (REUTERS)

Mr Davies said among the injured were air stewards, who he said “were stoic and did everything they could”.

He said passengers with medical training rushed to administer CPR to the British passenger who later died.

Mr Davies added another passenger had been lying in the aisle behind him, but he did not know what had happened to them.

Another passenger described how people on board the flight were “launched” into the ceiling when the plane plummeted.

"Suddenly the aircraft starts tilting up and there was shaking so I started bracing for what was happening,” said Dzafran Azmir, a 28-year-old student.

“And very suddenly there was a very dramatic drop so everyone seated and not wearing seatbelt was launched immediately into the ceiling.

Plates of food strewn on the cabin floor (Supplied)
Plates of food strewn on the cabin floor (Supplied)

"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.”

“People dropped to the ground, my phone flew out of my hand and went a couple aisles to the side, people's shoes flung about," he added.

"The crew and people inside lavatories were hurt the most because we discovered people just on the ground not able to get up. There were a lot of spinal and head injuries.”

Allison Barker said she received a message on her phone shortly after 9am on Tuesday which said: “I don't want to scare you, but I'm on a crazy flight. The plane is making an emergency landing… I love you all."

Her son Josh, who is scared of flying, was on board the flight and is believed to have broken teeth and injured his mouth.

The mother told the BBC: "One minute he was just sitting down wearing a seatbelt, the next minute, he must have blacked out because he found himself on the floor with other people. There was water everywhere, blood everywhere, people's belongings just strewn all over the plane."

She added: "When he found out that somebody had died, you can imagine the realisation that it could have been him, that he was so close to dying.

"I think it's going to have a lasting impact on him, coming so close to death. It’s just going to reinforce his fears."

A British man on the flight added: “My son was thrown down on the floor two rows behind me. I heard that there was a guy hitting the roof in the toilet and he was injured quite badly, too."

In a press conference on Tuesday afternoon UK time, a spokesperson for the airport said most of the injuries sustained were cuts to the head.

More than 50 people are understood to have been injured, but exact figures were not immediately clear.

Seven people suffered severe injuries, the spokesperson confirmed.

Photos and video taken in the aftermath appeared to show oxygen masks dangling down inside the cabin, and what appeared to be blood was spattered on the ceiling.

Plates of breakfast food were strewn on the floor, apparently flung there by the force of the turbulence.

In an update on Tuesday afternoon UK time, Singapore Airlines said 30 people had been taken to hospital, while the remaining passengers and crew had been checked and treated at Suvarnabhumi International Airport, where the plane had landed.

“Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased,” said a spokesperson.

“We deeply apologise for the traumatic experience that our passengers and crew members suffered on this flight.

“We are providing all necessary assistance during this difficult time. We are working with our colleagues and the local authorities in Thailand to provide the necessary assistance.

“A Singapore Airlines team is on the way to Bangkok to provide any additional assistance needed.”

It added that it was setting up a hotline, for relatives seeking information about passengers.

If you were on board the flight and would like to speak about what happened, please get in touch by emailing