Singapore Airlines: ‘Turbulence landed five of my family in ICU’

Singapore Airlines: 'Turbulence landed five of my family in ICU'

Kelly Ng & Hannah Ritchie,in Singapore and Sydney

Eva Khoo Eva Khoo at the hospital in Bangkok with her family members who were on the SQ321 flightEva Khoo

When Eva Khoo received a call next week claiming that the Singapore Airlines journey her home was on “met with an incident,” she was told not to worry.

The 47-year-old was still unable to accomplish her brother and female sister-in-law who were on board the Singapore-bound journey from London, along with a companion and four other members of their family, days after the plane made an emergency landing in Bangkok.

When she suddenly heard from her nephew late that night, it was a solitary saying: ICU.

” Then we stopped hearing from him,” he said. That made me perhaps more anxious”, she told the BBC in a telephone meeting. Finally she received a message from her sister-in-law, who informed her that she was in the hospital but did not know where everyone else was.

The “unexpected serious turbulence” which hit the aircraft had left one passenger dead late- air and almost 50 others, including two crew members and a toddler, in hospital, several with serious injuries. More than 20 patients with spinal injury were admitted to intensive care.

Tuesday day was “nerve- wracking”, Ms Khoo says. We had no notion how seriously our loved people had been injured, whether they were dead or alive.

The next day, she found out all seven were hospitalised in Bangkok. Five of them were confined to the Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital’s intensive care unit.

She decided to fly to Thailand from Kuala Lumpur, where she lives. ” I was relieved when I finally got to meet them, but it was horrifying to see many of them clad in neck and head brackets because of their cervical and again wounds.”

She would need to spend another few weeks before she could finally inquire as to what exactly had happened on the trip.

It felt like descending a horizontal wheel ride.

After a two-week trip to Switzerland and London, Khoo Boo Leong and his family Saw Rong were returning. Singapore was intended to serve as a transit point for Malaysians traveling house. The journey, which had 211 travellers and 18 members of the crew on table, was approaching the eighth hour of its journey when turbulence struck Myanmar and passed over the Irrawaddy Basin.

Ms. Khoo claims that her nephew is aware that the aircraft started to shake. Before he could even move his helmet, he was hoisted to the sky. He ran for it. He slammed into the overhead baggage compartment before fumbling onto the hall a few seconds after. Their things were strewn all over”, she said.

He and his family were seated close to the plane’s center. Ms Saw, who is two weeks female, was flung out of her chair. The influence resulted in injuries to her rear, which required surgery.

Ali Bukhari Oxygen masks dangling from the overhead panelAli Bukhari

Sets back, Keith Davis, who was on table with his family Kerry Jordan, recalled being thrown into a “zero- weight position”.

” We were launched into space, swaying toward the sky. It felt as though we were floating”, said Mr Davis, who spoke to the BBC from the clinic in Bangkok. He had a bruised mind and a dark eye.

We were completely shocked and amazement when we looked at everything that was floating about. And then the second time, your attention is that you’re hurtling right up over… It was definitely horrific”, said the 59- yr- old American.

Ms Jordan, 52, was thrown onto the hallway. She had to lay down for the rest of the trip as the aircraft landed because of how much of an effect it had on her back.

” I leant over her and asked’ Are you ok’? She was able to talk very quietly … And then I’m thinking’ Oh my God, I’m dripping blood all over her gown'”, he said.

Mr Jordan still had in her hands a piece of the helmet, he recalled. The woman behind us was crying out in excruciating problems. I did n’t know what to do. I really felt totally useless”, Mr Davis said.

Ali Bukhari, who was seated with his family Ramiza, said the aircraft “went into that right freefall”.

” It was terrifying. It’s just like going down a horizontal roller coaster. The 27-year-old Australian was speaking to the BBC from Sydney.” I thought that was because everyone who was n’t wearing a helmet flew straight into the atmosphere and hit the ceiling,” said the 27-year-old American. Oxygen faces had all come out, and parts of the interior of the planes were damaged.

” We saw blood on the ceiling … It was just complete havoc. A lot of people were on the floors”, he said.

A map of the route where the plane hit turbulence

Because they were belted up, Mr. Bukhari and his family were n’t as severely hurt.

When the belt lights are turned off, I’ve always taken off my helmet. But just by chance, I do n’t know why, I just had it at this time”, Mr Bhukari said. Also, they were “mentally prepared that we were going to die”.

Ms Bukhari, who has long had a fear of flying, was having a panic attack.

According to Mr. Bukhari,” I only spent my time keeping my wife as quiet as possible… We started reciting as many blessings as we could.”

After a few minutes, the captain made an announcement.

” He said,’ We’re never sure what happened. But it looks like we underwent a turmoil occasion, it was unpredicted’. He certainly sounded very shaken”. Another team members “looked rather beaten up” as they limped back and forth to help injured people, he recalled.

However, Mr Davis ‘ coworker Toby Pearl, from Wales, was providing CPR to a customer who was incapacitated. However, the 73- year- old English man, Geoff Kitchen, remained indifferent and eventually died from a suspected heart attack.

A stunning touchdown

When the plane finally landed, Mr. Davis described his disbelief. ” Hats off to the pilot, he got that plane down. When it just kissed the tarmac, it was like,’ Did we actually land?’ It was the most beautiful touchdown to the tarmac”, he said.

Soon after, the medical team in Bangkok came onto the plane. ” We were all getting tagged, getting classifications”, said Mr Davis. All this time, Ms Jordan was lying in an “obviously uncomfortable position”, he said.

” ] I was ] just thinking, how are we going to get her out of here?… It was all a bit of a mess”, he said.

Ms Jordan still ca n’t feel anything “from her waist down” however she has made “incremental but steady progress” after a few days in the hospital, Mr Davis said.

He anticipates that the hospital will soon approve a fit-to-fly certification, so that Kerry can be returned home as soon as possible.

” We’re just really grateful that we are able to look at each other, talk to each other, kiss each other. We’re just grateful because there are plenty of other scenarios. He speculated that Kerry might have perished on that plane right in front of me.

Eva Khoo Khoo Boo Leong (right) and his wife Saw Rong (second from right) were on a two-week Europe tour with five othersEva Khoo

Ms Khoo’s family too has been on a rocky road. Doctors had advised Ms. Saw to have surgery, but they also warned of the dangers to her unborn child.

” At one point a doctor had asked if she was prepared to lose the child … My sister- in- law was hysterical”, Ms Khoo said. However, the 33-year-old eventually made the decision to move forward and has since recovered well.

Five members of Ms. Khoo’s family will remain in the hospital for some time, including an elderly uncle who claimed he is learning to walk again, “like a baby.”

” My brother still ca n’t walk well and needs a wheelchair to get around the hospital”, Ms Khoo said.

Her brother’s friend, who suffered the most debilitating injuries, and is wearing a head and neck brace, will be bound to his bed for a while, she adds.

” We dare not inquire how long-lasting these injuries are. It is really hard for the doctors to answer definitively”, Ms Khoo says. It will likely take months before they fully recover physically and emotionally, according to the statement from the airline.

Ms. Khoo claimed that she finally managed to sit down for a proper meal since arriving in Bangkok last Wednesday because it was late on Friday.

After seeing that they are gradually recovering and that the surgeries went well, I finally had some time and appetite.