An Air New Zealand flight has been diverted to Cairns due to a passenger emergencySource:News Corp Australia
Sources have described an emergency landing in to Cairns Airport as a “comedy of errors” after paramedics were unable to reach the body of a man who died onboard mid-flight.
An Air New Zealand flight ANZ80 flying from Hong Kong to Auckland was diverted to Cairns International Airport about 2.30am on Monday, after it was understood a male passenger died on-board the Boeing 789 after suffering a medical emergency.
It is not known exactly how the passenger died.
According to the Cairns Post, airport sources told the publication that the drama on board the plane continued after it landed, describing the emer`gency situation as a “comedy of errors” because no ground crew were available to assist in the removal of the body at that time of the morning.
It is understood that due to the time of day, accessing the aircraft became problematic while the plane sat on the tarmac.
According to an airport source, who spoke to the Cairns Post, the pilot of the aircraft didn’t want passengers to use an aerobridge and risk seeing the deceased body. So instead, the crew sourced a set of stairs for the aircraft — but what arrived were too small.
“They found a small set of stairs, which they put up to the aircraft door,” the source said.
“They were totally insufficient. The paramedics had to put their kit on top of those stairs, and stand on that, and they were still only chest high to the door.”
“They had to climb into that aircraft to attend to that matter.”
It is understood the paramedics had to remove the body from the aircraft via the stairs.
An Air New Zealand spokesperson said in a statement to news.com.au that there had been a medical emergency on-board the aircraft.
“NZ80 (Hong Kong – Auckland) diverted to Cairns on Monday morning when a passenger became unwell shortly after departure,” the statement read.
“As you’ll appreciate, due to privacy reasons, we’re unable to share further details about the passenger.
“After leaving Cairns, the aircraft continued on to Auckland, arriving about two hours after its scheduled arrival time.”
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