Nigerian dies aboard Delta Airlines flight from U.S. to Lagos

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A passenger on Delta Flight DL54 travelling from Atlanta to Lagos yesterday died onboard. The airlines’ crew, according to the airlines, found the deceased unresponsive before landing.

The development, however, caused other passengers to be delayed onboard for about two hours and unable to disembark after arriving at Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. The delay, it was learnt, was to enable medical officials evacuate the deceased passenger.

Delta, in a statement, said local medical professionals met the plane upon arrival and confirmed the passenger had sadly passed away.

“Delta extends its deepest condolences to the family at this sad time. As a matter of passenger privacy, Delta will not release additional information,” the statement read in part.

The passenger died in the airplane during the about 12 hours flight between the carrier’s base in Atlanta in the United States and Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos. Sources closed to the airline said it is unprofessional to disclose the identity of the passenger without informing the family.

According to a source at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, the airport clinic was alerted of the incident about an hour before the arrival of the flight. The flight, it was gathered, landed on the runway of the airport at exactly 3:34p.m.

When the aircraft landed, it was gathered that the officials of the airport clinic proceeded on board the aircraft to ascertain the condition of the passenger. The source explained that the medical team of the airport met with another doctor, a passenger aboard the aircraft simply identified as Lawal, who confirmed the sick passenger was dead before arriving the country.

The onboard doctor was alleged to have said: “The passenger was in a confused state, and could only say his first name (Felix) before he collapsed and was confirmed dead at 8:17a.m. in flight.”

The source stated further that at the airport, the head of the airport clinic also ascertained and confirmed the passenger dead in the presence of the station manager of the airline, Mr. Omeiza, senior aviation security officers and other senior staff of the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN).

It was gathered that a FAAN ambulance was brought to evacuate the body at exactly 4:59p.m. but as of the time of filing this report, the body was still at the base station awaiting the necessary documentation and arrival of family members before evacuation to the morgue.

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