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August 21, 2008

Flight Attendants on Delta Airlines Find Body In Plane Restroom

Delta airlines flight attendants were shocked by what they discovered in the restroom of a flight. The discovery may seem disturbing to many of us but it seems that deceased persons are not that uncommon on airplane flights.

The body of a 61 year old woman was found in the restroom of a plane Wednesday morning. The flight was traveling from Los Angeles to Atlanta. The woman that died was Michaele O’Neil Carnahan. It was not clear how long she was in the restroom. The flight attendants were not sure when she had gone in there. The flight attendants realized that the bathroom was occupied as the plane was about to land and went over to it to let the occupant know that the plane was about to land.

The Delta flight was coming in for a 5:51a.m. landing. The police were notified and the body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of investigation Crime Lab. An autopsy was scheduled to be done Thursday. Delta extended their condolences to the family of the woman.

This brings up the question of how many people actually die in flight. It is an interesting question because actually, we don’t know. Flights are not required by law to track the amount of people that die when in flight. However, one Arizona based company, MedAire that staffs doctors on the ground to advise flight crews when there is a medical emergency said that in 2006 they handled 89 deaths. That means that the number of in flight deaths could be around 260 a year.

Of course, there is nothing that we ca do about the time in which we are called from this life. It is rather sad to think that this poor woman lived her last minutes in the restroom of an airplane. Flight crews are trained to handle emergencies but I know that flight attendants are not equipped to handle deaths. Then again, very few of us are. There is little you can do to prepare for such an event.

The Atlanta police said that they get calls for dead bodies on planes a couple of times a year. So if they get the calls, then it is likely that most police forces are getting those calls a couple of times a year. I can not imagine being stuck mid air with a person that has expired on the plane with me. It would not be scary or anything like that but I think it would be odd. To think that the rest of us wee on our way to a vacation, or an arrival home when one person is dead.

The cause of death is not known at this time. I hope that this woman did not have family waiting for her at the airport. Nothing could be more devastating than to see the plane your loved on is arriving on land with no problems, only to find out that the person you are waiting for is dead. What an unfortunate event.

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