Geoff Kitchen, grandfather on dream vacation, ID’d as passenger who died onboard severely turbulent Singapore Airlines jet 


A 73-year-old British grandfather traveling on a dream vacation with his wife was identified as the man who died of a heart attack after a Singapore Airlines flight plunged more than 6,000 feet on Tuesday.   

Geoff Kitchen, of Gloucestershire, was beginning a six-week tour of Asia and Australia with his wife, Linda, when their Boeing 777 flight hit severe turbulence and plummeted thousands of feet in the span of five minutes, the Sun reports.    

Kitchen, an amateur actor and former insurance worker, was the sole casualty of the incident that left more than 30 others injured after they were sent crashing into overhead bins during the plummet. 

Neighbor Steve Dimond, 73, said he and his wife had seen the couple off after they left on Monday for their trip, with their cul-du-sac in shock over the sudden loss.  

“They were going on a big holiday to Singapore, Indonesia, Japan and Australia,” Dimond told the Sun. “We are really upset. My wife is upstairs crying.”  

Dimond said Kitchen had a history of heart problems and had recently had stents put in him to widen his arteries. 

Despite his health condition, Kitchen was an active member of the Thornbury Musical Theatre Group, in Bristol, with the actor serving as a director in 2020. 

Photo credit ; Facebook / Geoff Kitchen

“I will remember him playing a Sultan and a Dame, he was fantastic. A lovely, funny man who could sing and act,” Dimond added. 

It was not immediately clear if Kitchen died on board the plane or after being rushed to the hospital upon landing in Thailand.

His wife is currently among those being treated at the hospital, according to the Telegraph.  

Boeing offered Kitchen’s family its condolences in a statement following the confirmation of his death.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the family who lost a loved one and our thoughts are with the passengers and crew,” the company said. 

Kitchen’s flight,  carrying 211 passengers and 18 crew members, was 11 hours into its trip when it suddenly went from an altitude of about 37,000 feet to 31,000 feet within just five minutes as it flew over the Andaman Sea, according to FlightRadar24. 

Photos circulating online showed terrified passengers gripping their seats and a flight attendant bleeding from her nose in the aftermath of the turbulence.

Meanwhile, other images showed food and debris throughout the aircraft, as well as huge dents in the overhead bins where passengers had crashed through.

The plane stayed at 31,000 feet for roughly 10 minutes before rapidly descending into Bangkok for an emergency landing, the tracking data show.

First responders were at the airport to treat the wounded, with dozens hospitalized in the aftermath, including seven who were critically injured, Thai officials said.  

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