Who Was Geoff Kitchen? British Amateur Actor Who Died of Heart Attack Onboard Singapore Airlines During Severe Turbulence Was on Dream Vacation with Wife

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

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

Geoff Kitchen, from Gloucestershire, was starting a six-week tour of Asia and Australia with his wife, Linda, when their Boeing 777 flight hit severe turbulence and dropped thousands of feet in five minutes, according to the Sun. Kitchen, an amateur actor and former insurance worker, was the only casualty of the incident, which left more than 30 others injured after they were thrown into overhead bins during the sudden drop, according to reports.

Dream Vacation Ends in Tragedy

Geoff Kitchen
Geoff Kitchen X

The retired insurance worker and his wife were going on a six-week holiday of a lifetime to Southeast Asia, Indonesia, and Australia when disaster struck around 11 hours into their flight from Heathrow.

The aircraft hit an air pocket and plunged an astonishing 6,000 feet in just five minutes, causing mayhem onboard and forcing the plane to make an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

Singapore Airlines turbulence
The inside of the Singapore Airlines flight from London after being hit by severe turbulence X

Terrified passengers have described how they had little to no warning to put their seatbelts on before the aircraft suddenly plunged. The incident occurred while the crew was serving breakfast, with one passenger saying that people were "launched into the ceiling" as the plane fell through the sky.

Of the 211 passengers and 18 crew on board, Thai authorities reported that 71 people had been sent for treatment, six of whom were seriously injured, with many sustaining lacerations to the head as they were thrown upward.

Thai authorities earlier revealed that Kitchen died of a suspected heart attack. Neighbors said that he had suffered heart problems in recent years and had undergone procedures to have stents put in to widen his arteries.

Dead in No Time

Neighbor Steve Dimond, 73, said that he and his wife had seen the couple off on Monday before their trip, leaving their cul-de-sac in shock over the unexpected 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."

Singapore Airlines turbulence
The inside of the turbulence-hit Singapore Airlines from London to Singapore X

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

"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 wasn't immediately clear whether Kitchen died on board the plane or after being rushed to the hospital upon landing in Thailand.

According to the Telegraph, his wife is currently among those being treated at the hospital. Boeing offered its condolences to Kitchen's family 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.

Singapore Airlines turbulence
A cabin crew seen bleeding from her nose after the Singapore Airlines hit severe turbulence X

Photos circulating online show 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 scattered throughout the aircraft, as well as large dents in the overhead bins where passengers had crashed through.

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