Packages taken from the bag of a woman arrested by gardaí following the death of a man on an Aer Lingus flight have tested negative for drugs.
Gardaí continued to hold the woman, a Portuguese national in her 40s, in Togher Garda Station in Cork City last night following Sunday’s flight from Lisbon to Dublin, which was diverted to Cork Airport following a medical emergency.
However, while gardaí will not comment officially on a live investigation, it is understood a substance removed from the woman’s suitcase tested negative for drugs.
Brazilian national John Kennedy Santos Gurjao, 24, died after becoming agitated on the flight.
Eyewitnesses recalled how he had to be restrained by cabin crew and passengers, and how a doctor and nurses on board performed CPR after he collapsed and suffered convulsions.
An autopsy on Mr Gurjao took place on Monday, and a number of packages taken from his body were sent for analysis. It is thought they contain illegal substances.
Mr Gurjao reportedly ingested up to 80 wrapped pellets — one of which burst, triggering Sunday’s events.
The Portuguese woman is being questioned about any connection she may have with Mr Gurjao.
Passengers described the scenes as the man attempted to climb over seats to reach the back of the plane, and how he was screaming after passengers — one of whom was bitten in the altercation — restrained him.
“He was on the way down to the bathroom at the back, but he started climbing over all the chairs with people still sitting in them, jumping on the trollies that the staff were serving teas and coffees from and then all of a sudden there was a lot of shouting,” David O’Brien from Castleknock in Dublin told the Irish Examiner.
“He was just growling, he was making strange noises. “He was in pain. It was eerie,” he said. “He was on the ground for about 15 minutes, screaming, then about 10 minutes after that they were performing CPR on him,” Mr O’Brien said.
John Leonard, another passenger, described the man’s screams as “guttural”.
“The noise he was making was like something I’d never heard before and wouldn’t like to hear again. It was like a deep anguish,” he told Cork’s 96FM.
The plane was diverted to Cork Airport, where the 168 passengers stayed on board for two hours while police and emergency services attended the scene. The passengers were then brought to the terminal where gardaí took statements, before being bussed to Dublin.
“Everyone was on edge, people were just looking down to see what was happening,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The medical team stayed down the back but the guards were going up and down the plane.”
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