Plane forced to divert to Shannon after passenger’s heart attack

A transatlantic jet carrying dangerous goods diverted to Shannon Airport yesterday after a passenger on board suffered a heart attack.

Air Berlin flight BER-7450 was travelling from Dusseldorf to New York when the crew turned around shortly after crossing the Irish coast.

At around 10.50am, when the jet was about 100km west of Galway, the crew informed air traffic controllers at Shannon they had a medical emergency on board and needed to divert.

The crew advised controllers they had a passenger who had suffered a heart attack. There were 295 passengers and crew on board the Airbus A330-200 jet.

The pilot requested the emergency medical services stand by for the aircraft.

Shortly before it was due to land, the crew confirmed to controllers they were carrying ‘dangerous goods’.

It is not unusual for passenger flights to carry cargo including hazardous goods.

The crew was cleared to reroute to Shannon while they also confirmed to controllers that they would be landing “heavy” — this means a plane lands with more weight than normal for a landing.

Aware that the flight was carrying dangerous goods and in the event the jet’s braking system overheated during the heavy landing, airport crash crews were alerted as a precaution.

The flight touched down safely at 11.16am and, accompanied by emergency vehicles, taxied to the terminal where a HSE ambulance was standing by.

Medics boarded the flight to assess the passenger who was later rushed to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

The flight was then able to continue its journey.


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