Elderly man dies on flight at Shannon

Elderly man dies on flight at Shannon


Delta flight 71 taxiing to the terminal this afternoon – Photo: © Pat Flynn 2017


Tuesday – 09/05/17 – 9.20am

The flight continued to Atlanta at 9.15am as DL-9871.

Monday: An elderly man has died on board a transatlantic flight that diverted to Shannon Airport this afternoon.

Delta Air Lines flight DL-71 was en route from Dutch city of Amsterdam to Atlanta, Georgia in the US when the crew declared a medical emergency west of Donegal.

There were 260 passengers and crew on board.

The crew requested clearance to turn around and divert to Shannon reporting they had an 88-year-old man on board who was unresponsive.

Cabin crew staff performed CPR on the man for over an hour as the flight rerouted to Shannon. The Airbus A330-300 jet landed safely shortly after midday and was met by airport fire crews.

Ambulance paramedics were also waiting for the flight when it reached the terminal however the man was pronounced dead at the scene.

The county coroner was informed of the death before the man’s body was removed to University Hospital Limerick for a postmortem examination.

The flight has since been cancelled and passengers taken to hotels in the Clare and Limerick area for the night.

Shannon Airport handled a total of 30 medical emergencies last year. In two cases, the passengers had passed away before their flight landed in Shannon.

Chief Reporter Pat Flynn has worked as a journalist for almost 30 years. His career began during the late 1980s when, like many aspiring radio presenters of the time, he worked for local pirate radio stations in Clare and Limerick. Pat joined Clare FM in 1990 where he worked as researcher initially and later presented several different programmes including the station's flagship current affairs programme. He was also the station's News Editor and Deputy Controller of Programmes. Despite leaving in 2003 to pursue a career as a freelance journalist, he continues to work with the station to this day. As well as being the Clare Herald’s Chief Reporter Pat is also freelance journalist and broadcaster, contributing to Ireland’s national newspapers and is a regular contributor to national broadcasters.