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More than 50 still in hospital, two days after turbulence hit Singapore Airways passenger jet


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(23 May 2024)

Bangkok, Thailand – 23 May 2024
1. Wide of Dr. Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, director of Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, sitting down for news conference
2. Graphic showing casualty figures
3. Mid of reporters
4. SOUNDBITE (English) Dr. Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, Hospital Director:
“If your question is permanent paralyzed, I can say that it is too early to say that it is permanent or not. So we have to observe the response of the treatment that after surgery does the muscle function recover or not, so we have to observe that. (Reporter asking: so preliminarily, some people have shown signs of paralysis but you’re not sure if it’s permanent yet?) Yes, yes.”
5. Various of news conference
6. SOUNDBITE (Thai) Dr. Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, Hospital Director:
“It might be too soon to say how long they have to be here. Our doctors will monitor them every day. For those who can be discharged, we will let them leave right away. We’ve already sent one of them home.”
7. Wide of end of news conference
A Bangkok hospital says several of the more seriously injured people who were on the Singapore Airlines flight that hit severe turbulence will need spine surgery.

Dr. Adinun Kittiratanapaibool, Director of Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital, said it was too early to say if a patient would be permanently paralysed.

“We have to observe the response of the treatment that after surgery does the muscle function recover or not,” he said.

Twenty people remained in intensive care and a 73-year-old British man died after the Boeing 777, which was flying from London’s Heathrow Airport to Singapore, suddenly descended sharply after hitting turbulence over the Andaman Sea on Tuesday.

The ICU patients included six Britons, six Malaysians, three Australians, two Singaporeans and one person each from Hong Kong, New Zealand, and the Philippines,

Passengers have described the “sheer terror” of the aircraft shuddering, loose items flying and injured people lying paralyzed on the floor of the plane.

The turbulence sent the plane, which was carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, on a 6,000-foot (around 1,800-meter) descent in about three minutes.

The flight from London to Singapore was diverted to Thailand.

AP video shot by Jerry Harmer


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