PHOTO: A Turkmenistan Airlines plane. (photo via Flickr/Eric Salard)
A plane traveling from the Central Asian country of Turkmenistan to the United Kingdom was forced to make an emergency landing in Russia after one of the passengers onboard fell ill.
The man died before the aircraft could land, and then the flight continued to its final destination with the passenger’s dead body on the plane.
According to IBTimes UK, Turkmenistan Airlines Flight T5429 was en route from Ashgabat International Airport to Birmingham Airport when an 85-year-old male passenger became ill from what was believed to be an asthma attack.
The pilot of the flight called for an emergency landing in the Russian city of Volgograd, but the man was pronounced dead after the plane made a successful emergency landing. Instead of transporting the body by another means of transportation, the plane continued on to Birmingham with the man’s corpse onboard.
“A team of investigators that arrived at the airport was not let inside the foreign plane. Such decisions are taken by the pilot as a representative of the state owning the aircraft,” a source told the Russian News Agency TASS. “That is why any pre-investigation checks are out of the question and we can say nothing about the cause of death. The decision to make an emergency landing was taken by the pilot when the passenger was still alive but when the plane landed in Volgograd emergency doctors certified his death.”
The Boeing 757 was carrying 189 passengers and nine crew members at the time of the emergency landing. Officials from the West Midlands Police said they did not receive any report of the incident, as it is not believed to be a criminal matter.