Fri. Jun 14th, 2024

Australian man recounts ‘horror’ Singapore flight as wife battles ‘severe’ spinal injury

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun5,2024
Key Points
  • One man died and dozens were hospitalised after Singapore Airlines flight SQ231 experienced extreme turbulence.
  • Doctors are treating six people for skull and brain injuries, 22 for spinal injuries, and 13 for other injuries.
  • The injured, which includes Australians, range in age from two to 83.
A hospitalised Australian has recounted his terrifying experience on board a Singapore Airlines flight that hit extreme turbulence and left his wife with a severe spinal injury.
Keith Davis was on board flight SQ321 from London to Singapore on Tuesday when the high-altitude ordeal forced it to make an emergency landing in Bangkok, where some passengers were taken to hospital.
The Boeing 777-300ER hit what an airline official described as “sudden extreme turbulence” over Myanmar, sending passengers and crew flying and slamming some into the ceiling.
A and 104 people were injured on the flight, which was carrying 211 passengers — including 56 Australians, the largest group on board — and 18 crew from London to Singapore.
Davis spoke to ABC News Breakfast on Friday from his hospital bed. He had a bandaged head and facial injuries, saying while he might “look pretty ordinary” he was otherwise fine.
His wife Kerry, however, is “not in a great space at all”.
“She had severe spinal trauma,” Davis told the ABC.

“She had emergency surgery as soon as we were admitted and it remains that she has no sensation from her waist down, so it’s pretty life-changing.”

A plane parked on the tarmac.

Singapore Airlines’ Boeing 777-300ER parked at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi International Airport after the SQ321 London-Singapore flight encountered severe turbulence and was forced to make an emergency landing. Source: AAP, AP / Sakchai Lalit

Recounting what happened when the plane hit the air pocket, Davis said they were “on the ceiling” in an instant.

“I went headfirst … unfortunately for Kerry, she hit the luggage doors and instead of landing back into the seat area, she fell flat straight into the aisle and from that moment, she didn’t move,” he said.
“That’s where she remained for the rest of the flight. It was really horrifying.”
Also appearing on the Nine Network’s Today Show, Davis said his wife had “never lost consciousness” which was “a blessing”.
“We just want to get home,” he told the Today Show.
Davis said his wife likely wouldn’t be able to travel home for a few more weeks, and that would likely be via a medevac flight.
He said that he had met with Singapore Airlines CEO Goh Choon Phong on Thursday, which he described as a “really great and positive step”.

“They’ve just reaffirmed their commitment to us and support whilst we’re here at the hospital and the ongoing in terms of getting back to Australia,” he said.

Never-before-treated injuries

Twenty people remain in intensive care in the Thai capital.
Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, director of Bangkok’s Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, said his staff were treating six people for skull and brain injuries, 22 for spinal injuries, and 13 for bone, muscle and other injuries.
“We have never treated people with these kinds of injuries caused by turbulence,” he told reporters.
The injured at the hospital range in age from two to 83, he added.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said on Thursday three Australians were among them. It’s unknown what the extent of their injuries are.

Passenger accounts are still emerging after the incident in which the plane plummeted 1,800 metres in just a few minutes, with too little warning for many passengers to fasten their seatbelts.
“I fell onto the floor, I didn’t realise what happened. I must have hit my head somewhere. Everyone was screaming on the plane. People were scared,” Josh Silverstone, a 24-year-old Briton on his way to the Indonesian holiday island of Bali, told reporters.
“I turned on the plane Wi-Fi that I bought and texted my mum to say ‘I love you’,” he added after leaving hospital, where he was treated for a cut to the head, on Wednesday.
for the “traumatic experience” and expressed condolences to the family of the man who died.
Photos taken inside the plane after it landed in Bangkok show the cabin in chaos, strewn with food, drinks and luggage, and with oxygen masks dangling from the ceiling.
A relief flight took 131 passengers and 12 crew to Singapore’s Changi Airport on Wednesday to continue their journeys or return home.

With reporting by Agence France-Presse

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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One thought on “Australian man recounts ‘horror’ Singapore flight as wife battles ‘severe’ spinal injury”
  1. My heart goes out to Keith Davis and his wife Kerry. It’s absolutely terrifying to imagine going through such a traumatic experience while on a flight. I hope Kerry gets the medical attention she needs and recovers soon. Sending strength and healing vibes to the affected passengers and their families.

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