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“The plane started to tilt and shake.”

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The air mass moves so quickly from bottom to top that a Singapore Airlines Boeing 777-300ER has little chance of avoiding it. The turbulence, which lasted only six seconds, caused the plane to shake, and the absence of seat belts caused the rest. One person dies, possibly of a heart attack (Geoffrey Kitchen, a 73-year-old English man traveling with his wife), 53 other passengers and a flight attendant were injured: of them, 7 were taken to hospital in serious condition.

All this is happening on board flight SQ321, which took off from London Heathrow Airport on the night of May 20 and headed to Singapore with 211 passengers and 18 crew members on board. At 9.49 am Italian time (1.19 pm local time), on May 21, the plane flew at an altitude of 37,000 feet over Myanmar. The weather isn’t the best, but that’s no cause for concern. However, the pilots suddenly found themselves in a severe air current.
There is panic on board. Dozens of people are thrown from side to side. Hundreds of serving pieces on board (plates, cutlery, and food) are also flying around, as some photos posted on social media show.

Passenger Safran Izmir, a 28-year-old student, told Reuters that the plane began to tilt and shake. “Then suddenly we lost height and people were thrown towards the ceiling.” The pilots decide to activate the emergency signal “7700” and to Hijacking the plane to Bangkok airportthailand, Where there are about ten ambulances waiting. Paramedics transport several people After being immobilized due to multiple fractures18 people are admitted to the hospital where they will spend a few days.

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Singapore Airlines flight SQ331 – which had departed Paris and was about twenty minutes behind the Boeing – was alerted and took another route to get around the turbulence. “We offer our deepest condolences to the victim’s family,” explains the Asian company, famous for being among the best in the world. While Boeing, the aircraft manufacturer, offered to provide technical assistance in the investigations. Among the passengers, the majority are Australians (56), Britons (47), Singaporeans (41) and New Zealanders (23).

In the area where the plane passed, “the convection cell rose very quickly, from 20,000 feet to more than 53,000 feet in ten minutes.”explains Simon Braud, a meteorologist working on the European Space Agency programme. This dynamic – which makes detection on radar difficult – “may have caused significant disruption.”
Getting hurt or losing your life on board due to events like what happened yesterday remains a rare phenomenon.

But the statistics are starting to show a Trend change due to global warming Which makes me Phenomena of shorter duration, but also more extreme and less predictable. Each year, the National Center for Atmospheric Research calculates that 65,000 flights experience “moderate” turbulence and 5,500 “strong.” From 2009 to 2022 in the United States, 34 passengers and 129 flight attendants lost their lives due to air turbulence, according to Federal Aviation Administration calculations.

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