Updated May 21, 2024 - World

1 dead, 71 injured after Singapore Airlines flight hits severe turbulence

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 landing at London Heathrow Airport in August 2022.

A Singapore Airlines Boeing 777 landing at London Heathrow Airport in August 2022. Photo: Nicolas Economou/NurPhoto via Getty Images

At least one person died and 71 more were injured after a Singapore Airlines flight encountered severe turbulence Monday night while flying from London to Singapore, according to multiple reports.

The big picture: ​​​Turbulence-related accidents are the most common type of incident involving air carriers, but deaths from turbulence are rare, according to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).

  • The passenger who died was a 73-year-old man from Britain. His name and cause of death were not released, according to the New York Times.

Driving the news: Flight data captured by Flightradar24 showed the Boeing 777-300ER aircraft was cruising at 37,000 feet before suddenly dropping about 3,000 feet in roughly two minutes while off the western coast of Myanmar on Monday evening.

  • The aircraft, which was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew, then diverted to Bangkok and landed at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
  • The Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in Bangkok said at least six people were severely injured, according to CNN.

What they're saying: "Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased," the airline said on social media.

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

Zoom out: A 2021 NTSB report found turbulence accounted for 37% of all accidents on commercial flights between 2009 and 2018.

  • Compared to crew members, passengers were typically less likely to suffer serious turbulence-related injuries, according to the report.

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Editor's note: This story has been updated with additional details.

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