Society

Passenger Says EMT Dragged Dead Woman Off Plane Naked

| by Jonathan Constante

A woman who died in the bathroom of an American Airlines flight was dragged out of the plane naked from the waist down by a medic, according to witnesses.

Texas resident Theresa Hines, 48, collapsed in the bathroom while flying from Dallas to Minneapolis on June 12, the Daily Mail reported.

Hines' body was removed from the Boeing 737 after it landed. Some passengers said the EMT workers left her lower half exposed as they dragged her face-up down the aisle, the Star Tribune reported. Others said the woman was not exposed.

“She was not half-naked,” passenger Dave Sampsell wrote in an email to the Star Tribune. “Her pants were unfastened, but I saw nothing that any of the airline or EMT staff did inappropriately.”

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American Airlines officials also said Hines was wearing underwear and a shirt when she was removed from the plane on a portable stretcher.

“That’s baloney,” said passenger Art Endress, 63, adding that he was seated close to the bathroom when EMT and other responders stood behind the woman's head and  “dragged her down the aisle.”

“The EMT was out of line,” Endress said. “The flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her." He said the woman was exposed to more than 150 passengers on the plane.

According to Endress, other passengers became aware that something was wrong when the flight crew did a headcount and noticed one passenger was not seated. Staff members did not get a response from the bathroom and opened the door to find Hines.

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A doctor and nurse quickly responded. When the plane landed, EMT workers immediately boarded the plane and transported Hines out.  

Minneapolis-St Paul Airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said Hines was "not naked" when she was transported out of the plane. He added that first responders "were focused on trying to save her life and get her in the jetway, where they can continue to try to resuscitate her."

American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein added that flight attendants would have responded earlier if they were made aware that someone had been in the bathroom for awhile.

“If a flight attendant is made aware of a passenger in the lavatory for an extended period of time, of course a flight attendant will check on the passenger to make sure they are all right," Feinstein said.

Other airline officials confirmed Hines was already in the facility when she fell into distress.

“Our team and others did what they could do to preserve her modesty while working to save her life," officials said.

Hines was pronounced dead about an hour after attempts to revive her on the jet bridge, Dallas News reported. Passengers were told to stay on the plane during that time.

“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. "We're grateful for the response of our highly trained flight attendants and our customers who assisted our passenger until first responders arrived."

Sources: Daily Mail, Star Tribune, Dallas News / Photo credit: Aero Icarus/Flickr

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