Passenger succumbs to medical incident while waiting for plane to take off in Kelowna

Passenger dies on plane

A flight out of Kelowna International Airport was delayed Thursday evening after a passenger died on the plane before take-off.

The passengers had already boarded the plane and the crew were preparing for takeoff when one of the passengers went into medical distress.

"Our team got a call for a person in distress, they rendered first aid and we also called Emergency Health Services," says YLW airport director Sam Sammadar. "Unfortunately, the person passed away, we were unable to revive the individual."

The other passengers left the plane as emergency crews worked to save the individual but the person died on the plane.

"Our deepest condolences go out to this person's family. It's a very, very difficult time for them," Sammadar said.

Sammadar says having a passenger undergo a medical emergency has happened at the airport before and their crews are trained for such incident.

"Our teams, of course, are fully certified in rendering first aid. But still, we do from time to time get first aid calls and people who are in distress, and a large percentage of the time we're very successful in helping those individuals," he said.

"But it's certainly tough on our team here, because that's obviously not the outcome we want."

The flight was scheduled to depart YLW Thursday evening and the incident happened at approximately 10 p.m.

"These protocols are part of our emergency response plan, we do exercise that. Our teams that responded as soon as they were advised did an exceptional job and I know that they did everything they could to try and help this individual," says Sammadar.

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