Old flight turbulence clip falsely shared as Singapore Airlines incident in May 2024

 An old clip of passengers screaming on a plane after it was violently shaken by turbulence has resurfaced globally in posts that falsely claimed it shows a Singapore Airlines flight enduring a terrifying high-altitude plunge in May 2024. The footage -- viewed millions of times -- has circulated in multiple news reports since June 2019 about turbulence rocking a Bulgarian airline flight.

"Shocking News: 1 Dead, 30 Injured In 'Severe Turbulence' On Singapore Airlines Flight," read text that was overlaid on a Facebook clip posted on May 22, 2024. 

Viewed more than 7,600 times, it shows passengers screaming inside an aircraft as it shakes violently, throwing a flight attendant up towards the ceiling.

"Singapore Airlines flight #SQ321, operating from London (Heathrow) to Singapore on 20 May 2024, encountered severe turbulence en-route," the video's caption read.

"The aircraft diverted to Bangkok and landed at 1545hrs local time on 21 May 2024."

Screenshot of false post taken May 22, 2024

The footage was viewed more than five million times in similar posts written in EnglishTagalog, Thai, Hindi, Burmese, Portuguese and Chinese.

A 73-year-old British man died and over 80 others were injured after Singapore Airlines Flight SQ321 was hit by extreme turbulence over Myanmar on May 21.

The plane, flying from London to Singapore, made an emergency landing at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport.

A relief flight carrying 131 passengers and 12 crew landed at Singapore's Changi Airport the following day.

However, the clip has been shared in a false context. 

Bulgarian airline

AFP previously debunked similar posts that falsely linked the clip to an Indonesian plane crash in January 2021.

Reverse image searches of keyframes found the footage was posted on the YouTube channel of France-based television channel Euronews on June 18, 2019 (archived link).

The video was titled: "Turbulence captured on video by passenger on Kosovo-Switzerland flight."

Credited to passenger Mirjeta Basha, the footage shows a flight from Kosovo to Switzerland -- operated by Bulgaria-based ALK Airlines -- after it was hit by a "severe pocket of turbulence", according to this Euronews report (archived link).

"Ten people were injured in the incident aboard the ALK Airlines flight from Pristina to Basel, including a member of cabin crew who was thrown into the ceiling," the article read.

Below is a screenshot comparison of the clip shared in the false posts (left) and the video from the Euronews report (right):

Screenshot comparison

The same video of the incident was also published by video agency Storyful and UK-based Sky News in January 2019 crediting Mirjeta Basha (archived links here and here).

The 2019 video shows a flight attendant wearing a yellow uniform, which does not match Singapore Airlines' sarong kebaya for its female cabin crew (archived link).

Below is a screenshot comparison of the air stewardess -- highlighted by AFP in blue -- in the circulating clip (left) and the Singapore Airlines flight attendant uniform as seen on its website (right):

Screenshot comparison

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