Singapore Airlines Accident: 1 Dead & 71 Injured - Adamson Ahdoot

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One Dead, 71 Injured on Singapore Airlines Flight

May 23, 2024 María López Garcia
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Extreme In-Flight Turbulence Causes Terror and Panic Among Boeing 777-300 Passengers

Home » Blog » One Dead, 71 Injured on Singapore Airlines Flight

A Singapore Airlines plane carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members was forced to make an emergency landing after an accident caused severe turbulence. The incident resulted in the death of a 73-year-old man on a flight bound for Singapore from London. The plane had to land at Bangkok airport due to the number of injured passengers. In total, up to 71 people required medical attention.

According to initial investigations, the incident occurred when the plane encountered turbulence while flying over the Indian Ocean. While the cabin crew was serving breakfast, the aircraft hit an air pocket and suddenly experienced extreme turbulence.

The airline has confirmed that flight SQ321 descended 6,000 feet or 1,800 meters in three minutes. This led the pilots to request an emergency landing in Bangkok after ten hours into the flight.

Witness footage from the Singapore Airlines accident.

According to weather reports from companies such as AccuWeather, satellite data showed “explosive thunderstorms” in the flight path. These storms could cause the plane to suddenly lose control. Flight data provider FlightRadar also noted “a rapid change in vertical rate,” usually the result of sudden turbulence.

A “Dramatic Fall” and Lack of Seat Belts Were the Main Causes of Injury of the Singapore Airlines Accident

One of the reasons up to 71 people were injured was because they were not wearing their seat belts when the turbulence began. Video and witness statements confirm that many passengers were not buckled in. As a result, many passengers were thrown upward and hit their heads into the baggage cabins.

Passenger testimony confirms that from one moment to the next, the plane suddenly tilted up and began to shake. This “dramatic fall” left 71 injured and one dead. Among the injured was almost the entire cabin crew, who were not in their seats at the time because they were serving drinks and attending to passengers. The 73-year-old fatality was a British citizen. According to initial reports, the man died of a possible heart attack.

Of the injured, 20 passengers were admitted to intensive care in two Bangkok hospitals. In addition, some 38 people were hospitalized for moderate plane turbulence injuries. Another 19 passengers were treated for minor injuries at the airport.

Aviation Accident Statistics

When news like that of Singapore Airlines hits the headlines, it is natural to ask, “How many plane accidents happen per year?” Despite the fact that commercial air travel is one of the safest modes of transportation, the number of aviation incidents is still high.

Data collected by Statista shows that between 2000 and 2020, the number of airplane accidents decreased from 1,837 to 1,085. The above report also indicates that non-fatal incidents have also declined over a 20-year period, from 1,492 to 880. Fatal aircraft accidents have decreased from 345 to 205 since 2020.

Turbulence is a common factor in aviation accidents. According to a National Transportation Safety Board report, turbulence is the leading cause of in-flight injuries, accounting for one-third of recorded incidents. More than 65,000 flights experience moderate turbulence each year. Approximately 5,500 flights experience extreme turbulence.

Other airplane accident statistics include:

  • The risk of dying on a commercial flight is 1 in 29 million.
  • Pilot error is the leading cause of accidents.
  • In 2023, there was an aviation incident for every 1.26 million flights worldwide. According to IATA, last year was the safest on record.
  • Since 1945, there have been more than 10,000 fatalities in airline accidents in the United States.
  • The national average number of people injured in turbulence is 60.

Nearly 80% of all aviation accidents occur shortly after takeoff. It’s estimated that 80% of all aircraft incidents occur within the first three minutes after takeoff.

Singapore Airlines Accident Liability

Singapore Airlines is a world-renowned company. They are an industry benchmark and have only had a few serious incidents in their history. However, you never know when an uncontrollable event could injure passengers.

The last fatal accident involving a Singapore Airlines aircraft occurred in 2000. The flight from Singapore to Los Angeles crashed into construction equipment at a Taiwanese airport after attempting to take off on the wrong runway. Unfortunately, 83 people died in the incident. According to the Aviation Safety Network, there have been seven accidents since then.

How much compensation did Singapore Airlines offer to the victims and their families for the fatal accident? At the time, the airline paid about $400,000 in compensation to each of the families of the deceased. They also compensated the other injured passengers and crew members based on their injuries and medical expenses. In total, Singapore Airlines paid out more than $35 million in personal injury and wrongful death claims.

Damages for Turbulence Injuries in Singapore Airlines Accident

In the case of the turbulence that caused the recent Singapore Airlines accident, injured victims can also receive compensation.

Unfortunately, extreme turbulence can sometimes go unnoticed by radar and satellites. This means that the pilot may not have enough time to warn passengers to fasten their seat belts. Or if they do, passengers may not have time to buckle up.

The law only requires airlines to turn on the fasten seatbelt sign for takeoff and landing.

Under the Montreal Convention, Singapore Airlines must accept liability for the incidents that occurred on flight SQ321. So, in a personal injury lawsuit, passengers could recover up to $175,000 in damages.

If a passenger pursues a larger claim, the airline could try to limit its liability. Among other things, the airline could claim that they took precautionary measures by providing advance notice of the need to buckle up.

However, every case is different, and the damages will depend on the severity of each person’s injuries. For example, crew members and passengers who were in the lavatory or standing up may have suffered more serious injuries and therefore be eligible for much higher awards.

In addition to physical plane turbulence injuries, victims may suffer emotional damage as a result of the incident. Such a traumatic experience often leaves victims emotionally scarred.

Likewise, those who contact an experienced aviation accident attorney are likely to receive a very large settlement.

Pasajero aéreo se abrocha el cinturón de seguridad durante el vuelo.

Can Airplane Injured Victims File a Lawsuit?

Yes, anyone on an airplane can sue the airline for injuries sustained during the flight. The company is liable for the claim if the injury resulted from the negligence of the airline or its employees. This includes pilots, flight attendants, and ground personnel.

Some of the most common causes of airplane injuries that lead to a lawsuit are:

  • Bad weather
  • Turbulence
  • Beverage and food cart collisions
  • Slips and falls
  • Baggage compartment malfunctions
  • Assaults by other passengers
  • Negligence during takeoff and landing
  • Burns from spilled hot liquids

Injured in a Plane Accident? Call Us!

Suffering a plane incident in the United States today is not very common. As we have seen, the statistics for such an event are low. However, being injured while flying may be more frequent than you think. A passenger can be injured for a variety of reasons. These range from jolts caused by turbulence or a hard landing to in-flight food poisoning.

If you want fair compensation for your injuries, contact an aviation accident lawyer at Adamson Ahdoot today. With over 100 years of combined legal experience, we can get you the compensation you deserve. Call us today at (800) 310-1606 or submit your claim online.

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