All Hell Broke Loose’: Singapore Airlines Passengers Describe Nightmare Flight at 37,000 Feet

Passengers on a Singapore Airlines flight faced a terrifying ordeal on Tuesday when severe turbulence caused a sudden, dramatic drop. 

Describing the experience as “all hell broke loose,” the Boeing airliner, carrying 229 passengers and crew, was cruising at 37,000 feet from London to Singapore when it rapidly descended and ascended multiple times over about 90 seconds.

Initially, the flight was smooth, with no signs of turbulence, according to passenger Andrew Davies, who was traveling to New Zealand for business. He was watching a movie when the seat belt sign lit up, prompting him to buckle up just moments before the chaos began.

During breakfast, about nine or ten hours into the flight, the plane suddenly plummeted, sending shoes, iPads, iPhones, cushions, blankets, cutlery, plates, and cups flying through the cabin. 

Davies described the scene, saying, "The plane just felt like it dropped. It probably only lasted a few seconds, but I remember vividly seeing everything flying through the air and crashing to the ceiling."

Images taken afterward show the cabin in disarray, with scattered items and loose ceiling panels. Davies, seated toward the front, witnessed injuries sustained by passengers, including 73-year-old Briton Geoff Kitchen, who sadly died on the flight. 

Davies and others helped Kitchen, who received CPR for about 20 minutes amid the chaos.

Another passenger, 28-year-old student Dzafran Azmir, described the aircraft "tilting up" and shaking before the dramatic drop, which sent unbuckled passengers crashing into the ceiling, causing injuries. 

Azmir noted how quickly it all happened, leaving no time for anyone to react, including those in the bathrooms and standing crew members.

Following the turbulence, the plane was diverted to Bangkok. Of the 211 passengers and 18 crew, 143 continued to Singapore on a relief flight, while the remaining 79 passengers and 6 crew members stayed in Bangkok for medical care and support.

Injured passengers included citizens from various countries, and several had broken arms, though most injuries were cuts and bruises. Preliminary investigations suggest that Kitchen had a heart condition, with an autopsy ongoing.

Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong expressed condolences to Kitchen's family and apologized for the traumatic experience, stating the airline's cooperation with authorities on the investigation. 

Singapore’s Ministry of Transport and the US National Transportation Safety Board are both involved in the investigation.

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