Passenger dies on Singapore Airlines flight from London when plane hits "severe turbulence"

A passenger died on a Singapore Airlines flight from London during extreme turbulence, while 18 other passengers were hospitalized — seven who were critically injured.

The 73-year-old victim, a British man, "likely suffered a heart attack," after the plane entered an air pocket near Thailand and plunged 6,000 feet within minutes.

The plane, with 218 passengers and 11 crew members on board, was headed to Singapore but diverted and made an emergency landing in Bangkok.

Videos on social media show dangling oxygen masks and overhead bins popping open with their entire contents falling out over screaming passengers.

From NBC News:

The jet fell into an air pocket over Thai airspace and requested to land at Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, an airport spokesperson said at a news conference, according to Reuters. …

The flight had left London for Singapore, carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members. The aircraft "encountered severe turbulence en-route," according to Singapore Airlines.

"We can confirm that there are injuries and one fatality on board the Boeing 777-300ER," the company said in an initial update on Facebook. 

Singapore Airlines is considered to be one of the safest airlines, and, according to The Independent, this is the airline's first in-flight fatality since 2000, "when a plane crashed on a closed runway during takeoff at Taiwan and 83 people died."