British Airways 777 suffers severe turbulence, 5 crew members injured

A British Airways B777 in flight.
N509FZ, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

On June 15, A British Airways flight from Singapore to London was forced to turn back after encountering severe turbulence over the Bay of Bengal.

The turbulence was so severe that five crew members were injured, including one who suffered a dislocated ankle and another who is undergoing an MRI to check severe bruising on her hip.

A different crew member was still in hospital yesterday following surgery on their ankle and femur.

Flight details

Flight BA12, a British Airways Boeing 777-300ER operating between Singapore Changi and London Heathrow was forced to make a return to Singapore after it encountered severe turbulence at 30,000 feet over the Bay of Bengal.

The flight, which was carrying 217 passengers, was forced to turn back to Singapore and landed safely at Changi Airport at around 4:05am local time. The plane was checked for structural damage and was cleared to fly again later that day.



British Airways has apologized to customers for the delay to their flight and has provided them with hotel accommodation and information on their consumer rights.

The airline is also rebooking customers onto the next available flights with British Airways and other airlines.

Here are some additional details about the incident:

  • The flight was a Boeing 777-300ER.
  • The turbulence occurred at around 30,000 feet.
  • The flight was over the Bay of Bengal at the time.
  • The turbulence lasted for about 10 minutes.
  • The five crew members who were injured were all cabin crew.
  • The passengers on the flight were not injured.

British Airways has said that the turbulence was a “rare episode of severe turbulence” and that the airline is investigating the incident.

The increase in inflight turbulence incidents

There has been an increase in incidents involving severe inflight turbulence in recent years. According to the US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), there were 163 reports of serious injuries from severe turbulence between 2009 and 2021. This is an increase of 55% from the previous 20-year period.

There are a number of factors that may be contributing to the increase in severe turbulence, including:

  • Climate change: As the Earth’s climate changes, the jet stream is becoming more erratic. This can lead to more severe turbulence, particularly in the winter months.
  • Increased air traffic: There are more planes flying today than ever before. This means that there are more opportunities for planes to encounter turbulence.

The incident has raised concerns about the safety of flying in severe turbulence. Turbulence can be caused by a variety of factors, including thunderstorms, jet streams, and wind shear.

 It can be very unpredictable and can occur at any time, even when the weather is clear.

In severe turbulence, passengers and crew members are advised to stay seated with their seatbelts fastened. They should also avoid moving around the cabin and should not use electronic devices.

This incident is a reminder that even the safest form of travel can be dangerous. However, by following the safety procedures and staying informed about the weather, passengers can help to minimize their risk of injury.

By Len Varley - Assistant Editor 4 Min Read
4 Min Read
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