Singapore Airlines has disclosed that the Boeing 777-300ER involved in a fatal turbulence event encountered the disturbance as it overflew Myanmar at 37,000ft.

The upset occurred over the Irrawaddy river basin, some 10h after the twinjet departed London Heathrow for Singapore with 211 passengers and 18 crew members.

Full details of the circumstances have yet to become clear, but the airline says the 777 experienced “sudden extreme turbulence”.

It diverted to Bangkok, after the crew declared a medical emergency, landing at 15:45 local time on 21 May.

9V-SWM-c-N509FZ Creative Commons

Source: N509FZ/Creative Commons

SIA’s 777-300ER 9V-SWM, the twinjet involved in the turbulence event

One passenger fatality has been confirmed by the carrier, along with multiple injuries, and 18 individuals were hospitalised with another dozen requiring treatment at medical centres.

Remaining occupants were examined at Bangkok’s Suvarnabhumi airport.

“Singapore Airlines is working with the relevant authorities on the investigation into this incident,” says the carrier.

Around 80% of the passengers were citizens of Australia, the UK, Singapore and New Zealand.

“We are providing all necessary assistance during this difficult time,” the airline adds, stating that a team dispatched by the carrier has arrived in Bangkok to provide support.