Aircraft Makes Emergency Landing After Passenger Dies Mid-Flight

A man onboard a Ryanair flight from England to Spain last week died mid-flight, despite efforts by crew members and other passengers to save him.

An 84-year-old man travelling with members of his family became unresponsive around an hour into a flight from Manchester, England, to Malaga, Spain, last Friday afternoon, eyewitness Emma Gaskell told Manchester Evening News on Monday.

She told the newspaper that the staff onboard the plane first attempted to provide first aid to the unnamed man, who is believed to be from Manchester, before then asking the passengers if any of them had a medical background and were able to help.

Gaskell, who is a medical trainer, came forward to help the staff members treat the man alongside a nurse also on the flight, but after checking on him they discovered that he did not have a pulse.

The two passengers alongside staff from the flight then performed CPR and used a defibrillator machine on the man for around 25 minutes, while the captain of the plane made an emergency landing in Nantes, France, in order to get additional medical attention for the victim.

However, Gaskell said French paramedics who treated the man after the plane landed in Nantes later confirmed that he had died.

"Paramedics came and took him off the plane and they were another 15 minutes, but he didn't make it," Gaskell told Manchester Evening News on Monday. "The crew were a bit shaken and needed some time."

The flight eventually landed at its intended destination of Malaga at around 3:00 a.m. on Saturday morning, and speaking on Monday, Gaskell praised the crew members for their efforts to save the man during the flight and for having a defibrillator onboard.

She said that defibrillators are "generally very successful," and explained that although "sadly on this occasion it wasn't a good ending," in a "different situation it could have saved someone. You don't know when something like that could happen and I think it's important to raise awareness."

Gaskell said although the outcome was not what they wanted, "the Ryanair staff were really, really good," and added: "I'm glad I could help [and] everybody just did their best."

In a statement to Newsweek on Tuesday, the airline said that it could not reveal any information about the incident, but added that "Ryanair extends its deepest sympathies to the bereaved and is providing any assistance required."

A similar incident occurred during a Delta Airlines flight between San Jose del Cabo, Mexico to Seattle in the U.S. in May, when the plane was diverted to Sacramento, California, after a passenger died onboard from natural causes.

The plane was diverted by the captain after the victim became ill, but despite landing in Sacramento just 20 minutes later, the emergency services were unable to save the man's life.

Man dies during Ryanair flight
A Boeing 737 (EI-DCP) of Ryanair is taxiing in the Brussels airport on July 29, 2020 in Zaventem, Belgium. A passenger on a Ryanair flight from England to Spain last Friday suffered what is believed to have been a fatal heart attack while the plane was at 35,000 feet in the air. Thierry Monasse/Getty Images