SINGAPORE: A British Airways flight that encountered “severe and sustained” turbulence on Friday (June 16) en route to London returned to Singapore with five attendants injured and one even needing surgery.
One passenger, 31-year-old mother of two Jade Crosland, thought she would die after seeing one flight attendant knocked out.
Ms Crossland told the Daily Mail that it felt like flight BA12 to Heathrow “fell out of the sky” because of the unusually high turbulence while cruising 30,000 feet over the Bay of Bengal.
She held her little daughter Harper, 1, to her chest after the plane went into “free fall” in the early morning of June 16.
The young mum said drinks were being served on the flight when the seatbelt sign came on without an announcement.
She went to get her daughter out of the bassinet where she lay because babies should be strapped in when the seatbelt sign is on.
“As I stood up, the plane dropped a thousand feet. Everyone flew up in the air, everyone was screaming.’
She added that one of the attendants had gotten knocked out after being hit on the head by a trolley.
After Ms Crossland, although panicking, took her daughter out of the bassinet and strapped her to her chest, the plane dropped again.
“It was shaking the whole time and there was this massive drop. I honestly thought we were going to die… The passengers were all looking at each other and we were all thinking ‘this is it we’re all going to go into the sea and die.’”
Fortunately, both Harper and Hugo, Ms Crossland’s three-year-old son seated a few rows away with the children’s father, somehow managed to sleep through the turbulence.
The Boeing 777-300ER plane suffered the worst turbulence the airline has seen in the past five years and turned back to Changi Airport to check for structural damage.
Ms Crossland, however, was grateful for how the crew immediately helped their fellow attendants who’d gotten injured and reassured the passengers.
“The crew were highly professional and very organised and really held it together. They were amazing and very helpful,” she said.
One attendant had a dislocated ankle, while another underwent surgery on his ankle and femur after falling.
One of the in-flight team suffered a dislocated ankle, and another is now undergoing an MRI to check severe bruising on her hip.
“His foot was at a 90 degree angle to his leg,” another passenger, Mr Tom Owens, said.
A doctor on board was able to extend some assistance to the injured crew member. /TISG