Last updated: 01:44 PM ET, Tue October 20 2015

Brazilian Man Dies During Flight After Biting Another Passenger

Impacting Travel | Donald Wood | October 19, 2015

Brazilian Man Dies During Flight After Biting Another Passenger

A 24-year-old Brazilian man died on an Aer Lingus flight Sunday night after he reportedly became violent and bit another passenger.

In a report from Lokesh Joshi of The Irish Times, Assistant State Pathologist Dr. Margot Bolster confirmed that the man—named John Kennedy Santos Gurjao—had ingested around 0.8 kilograms of what investigators believe is cocaine in the form of 80 wrapped pellets.

While inside Gurjao’s stomach, one of the pellets opened and the contents spilled into his body, ultimately resulting in his death. If the tests confirm that the substance inside the man is indeed cocaine, the estimated street value would be around $63,600.

Police in Ireland are working with authorities in Portugal and Brazil to track the movements of Gurjao in the days leading up to his death and find out when he might have ingested the drugs.

According to Sky News, the Aer Lingus flight was en route from Lisbon, Portugal, to Dublin, Ireland, when it was diverted to Cork after the man became unhinged and had to be restrained by crew members and other fliers.

During the struggle, the man reportedly bit one of the passengers helping to subdue him.

While restrained, the individual began suffering seizures and collapsed. One of the other passengers on the flight, John Leonard, told Sky News that a doctor and two nurses tried to revive the man after the captain requested help from any medics on board.

Medics were also on the scene when the plane landed at 5:40 p.m. local time, but the man was pronounced dead.

Leonard described the scene, saying, “After that it got worse I would say, his seizure seemed to get worse. He was actually on the ground shaking violently. The noise he was making was like something I have never heard before. It's not something you'd hear every day. It was like deep anguish is the best way I could describe it, very, very troubled. Not screaming in a sense you know if you'd hurt yourself or something, just a very guttural, from deep within him.”

Authorities from Cork investigating the death also arrested a 44-year-old Portuguese woman after they discovered five pounds of a white powdery substance in her luggage, but The Irish Times say police confirmed it was just baking soda.

On Monday, officials will perform a postmortem exam to determine the cause of death.

Editor's Note: This story was updated at 1:20 p.m. ET Oct. 20 to reflect new information including the name of the deceased and possible cause of death.


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