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Officials Prevent Australian from Speaking with Media

Officials Prevent Australian from Speaking with Media

Thai Officials Prevent Australian from Speaking with Media

In a dramatic series of events, Thai officials aggressively intervened to prevent an Australian man, injured on a Singapore Airlines flight, from speaking with the media. This incident unfolded in front of TV cameras at a Bangkok hospital.

Keith Davis was among dozens injured in deadly turbulence that struck flight SQ321 from London to Singapore on Tuesday. The turbulence left one person dead and forced an emergency landing in Thailand.

Mr. Davis and his wife, Kerry Jordan, were both severely injured and remain in the hospital along with more than 50 other passengers and crew members still being treated. Twelve Australians remain hospitalized, including three in intensive care.

Journalists from around the world have gathered at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital in Bangkok to speak to those on board. On Thursday, Mr. Davis, sitting in a wheelchair in a hospital gown with his head bandaged, attempted to speak to ABC correspondent Bill Birtles to complain that no representatives from the airline had spoken to him directly. However, hospital staff dramatically intervened.

In extraordinary scenes, staff surrounded Mr. Davis as it became apparent he was about to speak, and soon called in security to reinforce their numbers. Mr. Davis expressed his frustration, saying, “[We’ve] had no information, we’ve been left in limbo,” as staff then wheeled him away to a lift. A Wall Street Journal reporter handed him a business card, but this too was taken away.

Hospital director Adinun Kittiratanapaibool later apologized, saying staff were only seeking to protect the privacy of patients, according to the ABC.

Later on Thursday, Mr. Davis was visited by Singapore Airlines chief executive Goh Choon Phong. Initially, he wanted to speak out about his displeasure after seeing other passengers, speaking to the media anonymously, praising the hospital and airline.

Speaking to Nine’s Today on Friday morning, Mr. Davis said his wife had undergone emergency surgery for a serious spinal injury and “the aim now is just to get her into a stable enough condition that she’s fit enough to fly.” He praised the hospital staff and Singapore Airlines for their support.

“Singapore Airlines reached out to us yesterday. We’ve been assigned a gentleman who’s working just with us, a customer care guy, James, he’s a Kiwi. We’re not holding that against him. It’s just great to know there’s someone actually here. And we had a meeting with the CEO who’s flown in, and that was really positive. And it was just great to hear the level of their commitment, you know, in terms of our care … because obviously you’re worried about the insurance and costs and the medevac as well … so it’s great that Singapore Airlines have come to the party.”

Mr. Davis recounted the “absolute carnage” that erupted 10 hours into the flight when the Boeing 777-300ER suddenly dropped at 37,000 feet. The couple had been returning from a “fantastic holiday” — their first trip to the UK since the Covid pandemic — when the nightmare unfolded.

“Instantly, it was absolutely surreal, you know, there’s no warning,” he said. “It wasn’t like you [normally] come into … turbulence. This was like, we just fell into a free fall zone … and before we knew it, we’re on the ceiling. And then, bang, we’re on the ground. You don’t know what is going on, and you’ve literally fallen 6000 feet.”

photo ABC news

In the chaos, Ms. Jordan was thrown against the luggage doors and landed in the aisle, causing a serious spinal injury. Mr. Davis described the moment: “I leant over her and said, ‘Hey, hey, honey, are you OK?’ I could see she was breathing. She could speak, but … you know, you see someone hit the ground, they’re going to try and get up. That wasn’t happening. And then I realized there was … pouring blood all over her. And I thought, ‘Wow, we’re in a lot of serious trouble here.’”

Ms. Jordan remained in the aisle for the rest of the flight, unable to move, while Mr. Davis tried to protect her. After an emergency diversion to Bangkok, Kerry was rushed into emergency surgery at Samitivej Srinakarin Hospital. Doctors diagnosed her with a spinal cord injury, while Keith sustained superficial injuries, including soft tissue bruising and cuts. Kerry remains in the ICU, awake but in a critical condition awaiting a medevac flight back to Adelaide.

Mr. Davis said he made repeated attempts to contact Singapore Airlines but initially heard nothing back. “I’ve been advised by the medical staff here that Singapore Airlines is the only option for Kerry to be medevaced,” he told The Advertiser. “There must be a plan. I just want it communicated. It’s going to be a really slow recovery. The first thing is to get her home.”

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