British national who died during severe flight turbulence identified as Geoff Kitchen

British national who died during flight turbulence identified as Geoff Kitchen. He is a retired insurance professional.
British national who died during flight turbulence identified as Geoff Kitchen. Photo Courtesy: Thornbury Musical Theatre Group Facebook page

A British person, who died after the Singapore Airlines flight was hit by severe turbulence, was identified as Geoff Kitchen.

A retired insurance professional turned amateur dramatics performer, Kitchen’s Thornbury Musical Theatre Group mourned his death and posted on its website: “It is with a heavy heart that we learn of the devastating news of the passing of our esteemed colleague and friend Geoff Kitchen in the recent Singapore Air Incident.”

He reportedly died due to a suspected heart attack after the flight suffered a sudden drop in altitude.

A British Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office spokesperson told BBC it was supporting the family of the passenger, and was in contact with local authorities.

He was travelling on the flight from London to Singapore along with 211 passengers and 18 crew members.

Kitchen and his wife, Linda, were to stop over en route to Australia, where they planned to enjoy a six-week holiday, neighbours told the Guardian.

Jill Dimond, a close friend and neighbour, told the newspaper: “He was a well-loved man. He was clever, funny, a fantastic performer, deeply caring about theatre. It was his passion.”

Singapore Airlines CEO issues public apology

“Our deepest apology to everyone affected by this incident,” CEO Goh Choon Phong said in a video statement.

At least one passenger died and 70 others were injured in the incident.

The airlines said the flight SQ321, which was operating from London (Heathrow) to Singapore on 20 May 2024, encountered sudden extreme turbulence over the Irrawaddy Basin at 37,000 feet about 10 hours after departure.

“The pilot declared a medical emergency and diverted the aircraft to Bangkok, and landed at 1545hrs local time on 21 May 2024,” the Airlines said in a Facebook post.

The airlines later said 131 passengers and 12 crew members arrived in Singapore in a relief flight on May 22 from Bangkok where flight SQ321 was diverted for an emergency landing.

” As of 0505hrs on 22 May 2024, another 79 passengers and six crew members from SQ321 remain in Bangkok. This includes those receiving medical care, as well as their family members and loved ones who were on the flight,” Singapore Airlines said.