A 25-year-old woman died in mysterious circumstances on a Brazil-to-Dallas American Airlines flight early this morning. The flight made an emergency landing in Houston. Nobody else was hurt on the flight, reports ABC Houston 13.
American Airlines flight No. 962 left Sao Paulo at 1:15 a.m. and made its emergency landing in Houston at 6:20 a.m. local time. The captain diverted the plane while the woman was alive, but she died before landing. ABC News reports that about eight hours into the flight a passenger entered medical distress. Despite the best efforts of the crew and a doctor who was a passenger on the flight the woman could not be saved. The physician had attempted an emergency medical procedure on the woman.
The airline has made little comment about the circumstances or identity of the woman. It did state attempts were made to help the woman, but details were not forthcoming. AA released an official statement on the details of the plane:
American Airlines flight 962 today from Sao Paolo (GRU) to Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) diverted to Houston (IAH) because of a medical emergency. We can’t provide any information about the ill passenger, but we can provide details about the flight. AA962 departed GRU at 1:12 a.m. and diverted to IAH at 6:34 a.m. It left IAH at 9:05 a.m. and landed at DFW at 10:25 a.m. It was a Boeing 777 with 220 passengers and a crew of 14.”
The woman was taken to Harris County Institute for Forensic Sciences. When contacted by Heavy.com, a representative told us:
Yes, we have the body. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow.
It's standard practice for an autopsy be carried out on anybody who dies who is not reported to be ill or under the care of a physician.
Passenger Jeff Williford tweeted about the incident:
Had to land our flight from Brazil in Houston due to medical emergency. Just found out the lady died. How awful. Shocking really.
— Jeff Williford (@TheJeffW) January 2, 2013
The Houston Police Department took statements from all of the other passengers and crew onboard the plane. The woman's body has been taken by the local medical examiner, and an autopsy will be done to determine the cause of death. It was noted that the woman's body showed no signs of trauma.
At 9:25 a.m. the plane continued on to Dallas.
The Brazilian city of Sao Paulo has been engulfed by a mass drug war that the Financial Times reported was "spiraling out of control".
In November, over the course of two weeks, 140 people were murdered in Sao Paulo in the war.
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