Breakfast was being served on board SQ308 that morning - a warm meal of poached eggs and noodles - to start off a long-haul flight from Singapore to London.
But then the Singapore Airlines (SIA) plane started shaking, and the seat-belt signs came on.
Barely five minutes later, food trays, utensils and glasses - not to mention food and drinks - started flying all over the cabin.
Yesterday, for the first time since the drama took place on May 26 last year, the cabin crew involved discussed the incident.
"We were shocked to see so much mess everywhere," Inflight Supervisor Francis Ng told My Paper, recalling there was "spinach stuck on the ceiling".
"But we knew we had to maintain our composure, and do whatever we could to make sure everyone was all right."
The team first checked on the health of the passengers, including the three infants on board. Twelve people sustained minor injuries.
Then, the clean-up began. The crew laid blankets on the floor to soak up spilt liquids, and offered towels to passengers whose clothes had been soiled.
Flight stewardess Tun Fatimah Nazam even wrapped a wet towel around a back scratcher and used it to clean the ceiling, which was "dripping with coffee".
Captain Sam Tan also helped at the front line, cleaning up and reassuring passengers, even though he was supposed to be resting.
After an hour of cleaning up, normal services resumed.
Passenger Alan Cross posted photographs online of the mess in the cabin, along with a post-clean-up shot of a spotless aisle, with the comment, "Props to SQ crew".
Said Captain Tan: "In my 20-odd years of flying, it was my first time coming across such a huge mess on board.
"But the cabin crew was well-trained, and they handled the incident without a hitch, as though they had rehearsed for it.
"I'm very proud to be part of a team like this."
For their efforts, the crew will be crowned team winner for having the best service in the air at the SIA Transforming Customer Service Awards tonight.
The awards, first introduced in 1999, are the highest service accolades bestowed on SIA staff each year in recognition of excellent service.
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