SIA offers US$10k to minorly injured passengers of turbulence-hit SQ321

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2024

Singapore Airlines has sent out offers of compensation to passengers on board the turbulence-hit SQ321, with those who suffered minor injuries offered US$10,000.

The national carrier said in a Facebook post on June 11 that those who had more serious injuries were invited to discuss compensation offers that would “meet their specific circumstances”.

It added that it has offered US$25,000 as an advance payment for passengers who sustained serious injuries that require long-term medical care and are requesting financial assistance.

The payment will address their immediate needs and be part of the final compensation they receive.

Besides compensation, SIA said it will also provide a full refund of the airfare to all passengers who were on the flight, which experienced “sudden extreme turbulence” over the Irrawaddy Basin in Myanmar on May 21 as the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft made its way to Singapore from London.

The pilot declared a medical emergency and landed the plane at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi Airport.

A British passenger, 73-year-old Geoffrey Kitchen, died of a suspected heart attack, while dozens were injured.

There were 211 passengers and 18 crew members on board, and the injured were taken to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, Samitivej Sukhumvit Hospital and Bangkok Hospital for treatment.

The refund will also be given to passengers who are not injured.

SIA said there will also be “delay compensation” given, in line with relevant regulations in either the European Union or Britain.

Passengers had also been given $1,000 each upon departing from Bangkok, where SQ321 made an emergency landing. The payments were to cover their immediate expenses.

SIA said it has been covering the medical expenses of those injured, and arranged for family members and loved ones to travel to Bangkok upon request.

“All affected passengers should have received their offers of compensation via e-mail, along with information on how they may proceed with their claims,” the airline said.

Australian dance teacher on board SQ321 left paralysed from chest down

Australian couple Keith Davis (left) and Kerry Jordan were on Flight SQ321 when the plane experienced sudden extreme turbulence. PHOTO: KERRY JORDAN/FACEBOOK

An Australian dance teacher who was on board Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321 will never be able to dance again after being severely injured in the spine on the turbulence-hit aircraft.

Kerry Jordan, 52, also told Adelaide-based newspaper The Advertiser that she cannot do all “the basic things” with her hands, such as feeding herself, brushing her teeth, changing TV channels and using her mobile phone.

“I think that’s the hardest, not being able to feel most of my body,” she told The Advertiser from the Royal Adelaide Hospital.

Jordan had a break in her spine at the C7-T1 segment, which joins the neck to the upper back.

She also had a brain bleed, fractures of the C1 and C2 vertebrae at the top of the spine, and fractured ribs.

Jordan and her husband Keith Davis were returning from a holiday in the United Kingdom on May 21 when their plane experienced sudden extreme turbulence.

According to British media outlet Sky News, Jordan had returned to her seat and tried to put on her seat belt when the turbulence happened.

Jordan, who is a dance teacher at South Australia’s Mitcham Girls High School, said the incident was “absolutely violent”.

She said: “Literally everything just started shaking so much... All I remember was being up in the air and everything was absolutely silent and then I was on the floor.”

She was taken to Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in Bangkok for an urgent operation on a severe spinal injury and later medically evacuated to Adelaide. reported that she could not feel her legs immediately after the incident and had to remain on the floor for the rest of the flight.

Jordan, who faces months of rehabilitation, said she can move her arms but cannot use her hands.

Her husband told the Australian media that he is awestruck by his wife’s resilience.

He said: “It’s just inspiring. I don’t know how she wakes up every day and just gets on with it.”

In May, Singapore Airlines apologised to the couple after Davis complained about the lack of information from the airline following the incident.

SIA chief executive Goh Choon Phong met Davis and other affected passengers.

“We remain committed to supporting all passengers and crew members who were on board SQ321, as well as their family members and loved ones,” said SIA.

Aqil Hamzah

Sherlyn Sim

The Straits Times

Asia News Network