Medical staff at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport have drawn criticism from passengers on board an American Airlines flight for their handling of an unconscious passenger.
On Tuesday, American Airlines Flight 2423 from Dallas to the Twin Cities made an emergency landing after the crew discovered an unresponsive female passenger inside one of the aircraft’s lavatories.
Paramedics at the airport met the plane when it landed — joining the medical professionals already on the flight in their attempts to resuscitate the passenger.
However, as the paramedics removed the dying passenger from the aircraft to an area with more room to provide aid, others on board the flight complained about the way the partially-clothed woman was “dragged” off the plane, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reported.
They felt strongly that the paramedics and the airline staff could have done more to cover up the woman who was wearing a shirt and underwear.
Authorities with the airport and the airline refute early reports that the distressed passenger was naked when she was taken from the plane in a portable stretcher.
“The EMT was out of line,” Passenger Art Endress told the Star Tribune. The 63-year-old research engineer felt that the flight attendants could have “thrown something over her legs” as the paramedic dragged her down the aisle of the Boeing 737-800.
An airport spokesperson defended the emergency responders, telling the AP that he believed they acted according to procedure.
The same spokesperson told the Star Tribune that the paramedics, “were focused on trying to save her life and get her in the jetway, where they can continue to try to resuscitate her.”
Unfortunately, the woman was pronounced dead after nearly an hour of resuscitation attempts, the AP reported.
In a statement to Business Insider, American Airlines wrote:
“The crew of Flight 2423 from DFW to Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP) found one of our passengers in medical distress prior to landing. They, along with several medical professionals, provided onboard medical assistance to her. Our crew declared an emergency landing and requested that paramedics meet the flight. The paramedics worked immediately to remove our passenger from the aircraft and provide her with medical aid, but unfortunately, they were unable to revive her. We are deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers go out to our passenger’s loved ones. We’re grateful for the response of our highly trained flight attendants and our customers who assisted our passenger until first responders arrived.”