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Mumbai, Nov 5: Two Indians who boarded flights from Durban and London passed away due to medical complications mid-flight and were declared dead on arrival at the Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport early on Saturday.

“It was tragic to face two dead arrivals a few hours apart,” Central Industrial Security Force assistant commandant Arun Singh told DNA.

“R Sharma, who boarded an Air-India flight from Durban, was ill and on a stretcher. Panna Marfatia, a diabetic, was on a British Airways flight.” Both suffered cardiac arrests.

Sharma’s relatives, waiting to take him to a hospital, ended up making funeral arrangements after the plane landed at 5 am. Marfatia, 58, was making her way to the cloakroom on board the plane when she collapsed.

Police sub-inspector S Sohoney said, “British Airways staff and a qualified medical practitioner on board tried to resuscitate her. But she died minutes before the flight landed in Mumbai.”

An airline spokesperson told DNA, “Even though proper emergency medical facilities are not available on board the flight, first-aid and general medical aid is usually attempted."

Singh said that the airport has medical staff and qualified doctors to provide medical attention to passengers who develop sudden medical complications.

“Since January 2006 there have been seven cases where passengers headed to Mumbai have died mid-flight — before professional medical treatment could be administered at the airport,” Singh added.


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