Sharjah man dies aboard AI Express flight

56-year old was flying to South Indian city of Calicut

A 56-year old Indian expatriate from Sharjah died aboard Air India Express flight (IX 354) from Sharjah to Calicut on Sunday morning.

In a tragic story, family members waiting at the airport meet him, had to carry his dead body home.

Karakkapurayil Mohammed Kunju (56), who was travelling from Sharjah International Airport to Karippur International Airport with his brother K P Khader on the early morning flight, developed breathlessness mid-air and fell unconscious, according to airline sources.

Mohammed hails from CP House, Kannur, Kerala.

“After he complained of restlessness and breathlessness, cabin crew members gave him first aid. However, he fell unconscious and the pilot informed the airport authorities to keep emergency medical services and doctors ready for his treatment on landing,” said the source.

Even though an emergency medical team was ready at the Karippur International Airport, the passenger was already dead.

The deceased is survived by his wife Noorja and three children.

Abhay Pathak, Regional Head of Air India in the Gulf said he did not have details of the medical reasons behind the death. “In such cases, the airport authorities are responsible for providing the essential medical services.”

Two weeks ago, a passenger on a Kochi-Mumbai SpiceJet flight died before the flight landed in the city on Thursday morning. Indian media reported quoting Airport officials that Chandra Prakash, 47, had complained of breathlessness when the aircraft was mid-air. “A doctor travelling in the flight checked on Prakash but he had stopped responding. When airport doctors examined him at the tarmac, his pupils were dilated and blood pressure was untraceable,” reported Hindustan Times (June 10, 2011).

Another passenger, 53-year old Jai Sheikh Hussain, a Bangladeshi national, died on May 24, 2011 while travelling with his brother from Kolkata on Jet Airways flight. Reports quoting airport sources said the passenger or his brother complained of Hussain feeling uneasy. The matter was reported to the pilot who preferred a priority landing owing to the medical emergency. As soon as the flight landed at an airport doctor was brought in to check on Hussain, but it was too late.

In January 2010, a 48-year-old Indian passenger, onboard a Mumbai-bound Oman Airways flight from Muscat, died before the plane landed at the city airport. Mushtaq Ahmed Patel was declared dead by the airport doctor after the aircraft landed, reports quoting Mumbai International Airport Limited (MIAL) spokesperson had said.

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