Passenger dies mid-flight after ‘litres of blood’ spurts from face

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A passenger has horrifically died in the middle of a flight in front of his wife after he began coughing up “litres of blood”.

The 63-year-old German passenger, who has not been named, was reportedly “visibly ill” when he boarded the Lufthansa flight in Bangkok, Thailand, yesterday.

The man was travelling with his wife on the 12 hour flight to Munich, Germany, when his condition rapidly deteriorated as he experienced cold sweats and was breathing very quickly.

Flight attendants called for medial professionals on board to help the man, with a young doctor reportedly stepping forward to assist, but after checking his pulse he allegedly declared that the man was “fine”.

“They gave him a little chamomile tea, but he already spit blood into the bag that his wife held out to him,” passenger Martin Missfelder recounted to Swiss German outlet Blick.

Moments later, blood started spurting out of his mouth and nose.

“It was absolute horror, everyone was screaming,” the Swiss traveller said.

He claimed that the man was losing “litres of blood” which was splattering across the walls and seats of the airbus A380.

Flight attendants on board attempted to perform CPR for around 30 minutes but to no avail.

“The man went still, it was dead quiet on board,” Mr Missfelder’s wife Karin told the outlet.

The captain announced the news of the passenger’s death as staff carried the man’s body into the galley of the plane.

The flight was forced to turn back to Thailand, with flight data showing the plane left Bangkok at 11:50pm. Thursday and landed back in Thailand at 8:28am. Friday.

While back in Bangkok, passengers claim they had to wait two hours without any guidance from Lufthansa before they were booked on another flight to Germany, with a stopover in Hong Kong.

But for Mr Missfelder – who works as a nurse – the worst part was that the man’s wife now had to go through customs alone.

“She stood there all alone and apathetic and had to endure all the formalities.

“I should have intervened, but I saw that a doctor was looking after him, so I didn’t want to get involved,” she said.

“The man looked so bad, I don’t understand why the captain took off.”

The passengers on the plane were left traumatised over the horrifying ordeal.

Mr Missfelder said the experience after disembarking the flight was frustrating.

“Nobody looked after us, we waited two hours. There was no care team there, nobody,” he said.

“We all had to go to a counter, where we received a 10-franc ($17.50 AUD) voucher.”

News.com.au has contacted Lufthansa for comment.

What happens if someone dies on a plane?

If someone falls sick on a plane, cabin crew are required to perform emergency medical care on that passenger.

Due to the cramped nature of planes, medical attention such as CPR is often carried out in the aisle of the plane or in the galley.

If a passenger dies, bodies are often moved to an empty row or to business class, away from others on board, and are covered by a rug or blanket.

The procedure differs depending on the airline.

Speaking to Business Insider,flight attendant Annette Long said she usually covered up the body with a blanket.

“I would probably put a blanket over the person so it would become less of something to look at,” she said.

“You want to maintain dignity and respect for someone who passed away. You don’t want anyone staring at them. That would be really sad.”

Taking to Quora, travellers have shared their own experiences of people passing away in the air.

One commenter said her husband passed away on a long-haul Air New Zealand flight between Los Angeles and Auckland.

“We were in business class and he went to sleep in a lie-flat sleeper seat and did not wake up,” she said.

“When he would not wake up I got a flight steward who then went and fetched a passenger who was a doctor.

“He performed the usual signs of life tests and declared him deceased approximately four hours prior to landing.

“He stayed in his sleeper seats covered with a blanket for the rest of the journey and I lay beside him and held him until we landed.”

User Dave Samwell said he had seen it happen once.

“In my hundreds of flights I had this happen once,” he said.

“On a long-haul flight, if there are some spare seats, the cabin crew have a curtain they can put up around a section of three seats.”

Another commenter said when someone died on a flight she was on, it “carried on as per normal”.

“A woman sitting two rows behind me on an 11-hour flight from Frankfurt to Singapore had stopped breathing on the last leg of the trip,” she said.

“The woman’s immediate neighbours were allocated new seats as they lay her across the row of seats.

“Once it was determined that there was nothing else they could do, they covered her body with a sheet (but not her face) and the flight carried on as per normal.”

Rather surprisingly, passengers cannot be declared dead, according to law.

While travellers can have an “apparent death in-flight”, they can only be declared officially dead by local authorities after landing.

Flight crew also have a secret code for referring to passengers who have died.

If you hear them talking about a passenger called Jim Wilson on your flight, that most likely means there is a dead body on board.

The phrase HR also means there is a dead body on the flight, which is abbreviated for ‘Human Remains’.

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