One dead as London-Singapore flight hit by turbulence

File photo of Boeing 777-300ER.

One person has been killed and several others injured on a Singapore Airlines flight from London that was hit by severe turbulence.

The Singapore-bound Boeing 777-300ER was diverted to Bangkok and landed at 15:45 local (08:45 GMT).

Flight SQ 321 was carrying a total of 211 passengers and 18 crew, the airline said in a statement.

"Singapore Airlines offers its deepest condolences to the family of the deceased," it said.

The airline added that it was working with Thai authorities to provide medical assistance to passengers, and was sending a team to Bangkok to provide any additional help needed.

Thai authorities have despatched ambulances and emergency teams to Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Singapore's Transport Minister Chee Hong Tat said the government would provide assistance to the passengers and their families.

"I am deeply saddened to learn about the incident onboard Singapore Airlines flight SQ321 from London Heathrow to Singapore," he posted in a statement on Facebook.

What happened on board the flight is still unclear.

“Injuries from severe turbulence are relatively rare in the context of millions of flights operated. However, severe turbulence can be dramatic and lead to severe injuries or sadly in this case a fatality," John Strickland, a general aviation expert, told the BBC.

Flight crews have the resources to predict turbulence, though some parts of the world are more prone to it. They are also trained in how to respond to turbulence, Mr Strickland said.

"It is not for nothing that airlines recommend keeping seat belts loosely fastened throughout a flight be it long or short," he added.

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