Singapore Airlines apologises to injured Australians seeking medical evacuation

Singapore Airlines apologises to injured Australians seeking medical evacuation
  • PublishedMay 24, 2024

Singapore Airlines has apologised to an Australian couple injured when their flight hit severe turbulence, saying it has arranged for family members to join them in Bangkok.

Adelaide man Keith Davis and his seriously injured wife have been visited by the head of the airline in a Bangkok hospital, as they sought a medical evacuation to Australia.

It was the first contact the Australians had from the airline since Tuesday’s incident. 

Earlier on Thursday, Mr Davis told journalists he had “had no information, we’ve been left in limbo”.

Mr Davis said it may be weeks before his wife Kerry Jordan, who suffered a spinal injury when she was thrown into luggage doors and landed in the aisle, would be able to fly home.

“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.”

In a statement, the airline said it had made arrangements for their family members’ travel into Bangkok.

“Singapore Airlines apologises to Mr Keith Davis and his wife, and is providing them with the necessary support and assistance they need during this difficult time,” the airline said.

Twenty people who were aboard the flight remained in intensive care, a hospital official said on Thursday.

Mr Davis is among 40 passengers and crew still being treated in Bangkok hospitals, after the plane they were on suddenly plunged 10 hours into the journey from London to Singapore.

Australians ‘left in limbo’

Mr Davis was shut down by staff at the Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital when he attempted to tell the ABC and other journalists about how no representatives from the airline had spoken to him directly.

Mr Davis said he had “had no information, we’ve been left in limbo”, as hospital staff quickly wheeled him to a lift to avoid reporters.

The director of Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, later apologised for staff he said were only seeking to protect the privacy of patients.

“The number of patients in ICU remain the same,” Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, director of Bangkok’s Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, told reporters, referring to the medical facility’s intensive care unit.

“The meaning of those in ICU are those that need close attention,” he said, and added that currently there were no life-threatening cases.

One passenger died of a suspected heart attack and dozens were injured after Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 encountered what the airline described as sudden, extreme turbulence while flying over Myanmar.

More than 140 passengers and crew from the flight reached Singapore on Wednesday.

Of the 40 people on the flight still under treatment, 22 patients have spinal cord injuries and six have brain and skull injuries, Dr Adinun said.

The oldest patient at the hospital was 83 years old and the youngest a two-year-old child who suffered a concussion, he added.

Dr Adinun had said 41 people were still under treatment, but later said one person had been discharged.

Ten British, nine Australian, seven Malaysian and four Philippine citizens were among the 41 people, according to a presentation made by Dr Adinun.

CEO gives passengers ‘personal assurance’

Later on Thursday, Mr Davis said he had been visited not just by a representative of the airline, but also by CEO Goh Choon Phong, who had travelled to Bangkok to meet patients.

Singapore Airlines later put out a statement, saying Mr Phong conveyed that “I have given [patients] my personal assurance that we will take care of them during this difficult time”.

Of the nine Australians still being treated in the Thai capital, three remain in intensive care.

They include Kerry Jordan, but he wants to get her home to Adelaide to continue treatment.

She is a UK citizen and a permanent resident of Australia.


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