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Singapore Airlines passengers to receive $10k for injuries suffered during flight turbulence with larger payouts for those more badly hurt

Singapore Airlines has announced passengers will receive $10,000 in compensation for injuries suffered on a flight hit by extreme turbulence which killed a 73-year-old man. 

British father-of-two Geoff Kitchen suffered a suspected heart attack on board flight SQ321, while several other passengers and crew suffered skull, brain, and spine injuries during the terrifying high-altitude ordeal.

The pilots diverted the Singapore-bound Boeing 777-300ER carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew to Bangkok, where the injured were taken to hospitals.

In a statement on Tuesday, Singapore Airlines (SIA) said it had sent out emails offering US$10,000 in compensation to passengers who sustained minor injuries during the incident – with the airline set to discuss higher payouts with individuals who were more severely hurt.

‘For those who sustained more serious injuries… we have invited them to discuss a compensation offer to meet each of their specific circumstances when they feel well and ready to do so,’ the airline said.

‘Passengers medically assessed as having sustained serious injuries, requiring long-term medical care, and requesting financial assistance are offered an advance payment of US$25,000 to address their immediate needs.

‘This will be part of the final compensation that these passengers will receive.’

In addition, the carrier said it would refund fares for all passengers who were on board the flight, including those who were not injured.

‘All passengers will also receive delay compensation in accordance with the relevant European Union or United Kingdom regulations,’ it said.

As of Tuesday, 11 passengers from the flight were still receiving treatment in hospitals in Bangkok, a SIA spokesperson told AFP.

Under the Montreal Convention, airlines are liable for damages for the injury or death of passengers while on an airplane.

‘The compensation amounts are determined by the severity of each passenger’s injuries, based on the information provided thus far by the respective medical institutions,’ the spokesperson said.

‘We recognise that passengers with more serious injuries may require further support tailored to their individual circumstances.’

SIA earlier gave Sg$1,000 (£580) to each passenger departing Bangkok for their final destination to cover their immediate expenses.

It has also been shouldering the medical expenses of the injured passengers, and had arranged for their family members to fly to Bangkok when requested.

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