A partially unclothed woman who fell unconscious in the bathroom during an American Airlines flight died shortly after EMTs removed her from the plane Monday.
The woman, according to relatives, is 48-year-old Theresa Hines of Carrollton, Texas, the New York Post reported.
Hines was traveling alone on Flight 2423 from Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport to Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport when she suffered “medical distress” in the plane’s rear bathroom, an American Airlines spokesperson said in a statement.
A “team of flight attendants, a doctor, three nurses and other folks tended to our passenger before the flight landed,” the spokesperson added.
The plane made an emergency landing in Minneapolis, where paramedics met the flight at the gate.
“They radioed ahead and we had somebody at the gate to meet the plane when it arrived,” Patrick Hogan, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport’s director of public affairs and marketing said. “When we boarded, the patient was in the rear of the plane and our effort was focused on getting her out and onto the jet bridge.”
Hogan added that EMTs carried her down the aisle and out of the plane on a stretcher, wearing nothing but underwear and a shirt.
Some passengers were disturbed at how the paramedics handled the partially clothed passenger.
“The EMT was out of line,” passenger Art Endress, 63, a research engineer at Southern Methodist University, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune.
Endress said he was seated close to the restroom when EMTs and first responders “dragged her down the aisle” on the stretcher.
“The flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her,” Endress said.
Other passengers, however, did not deem the EMTs’ behavior inappropriate.
“She was not half-naked,” passenger Dave Sampsell said. “Her pants were unfastened, but I saw nothing that any of the airline or EMT staff did inappropriately.”
Paramedics tried to resuscitate Hines while passengers remained on board.
After about an hour, the EMTs and other medical personnel continued their resuscitation efforts behind a tarp in the jetway to give the woman some privacy as passengers exited the plane.
They attempted to revive Hines for an hour, but their attempts were unsuccessful, and she died shortly after she was carried off the plane.
“We are deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers go out to our passenger’s loved ones,” the airline said in a statement.