A woman from New Zealand has died after the force of Jet plane blast knocked her to the ground on the Caribbean island of Sint Maarten.
The incident occurred at the famous Princess Juliana International Airport which is just inches from Maho beach. The 57-year-old was said to have been holding on to the fence of the popular tourist attraction when a Boeing 737 large commercial jet took off and cause the woman to hit her head on concrete when she was blown back from the fence line. The woman was rushed to a local hospital with severe injuries where she later died.
Despite several predominate danger signs, warning beachgoers not to stand near the fence due to the dangerous air blast, thousands of tourist are drawn to visit the beach every year and often stand holding onto the fence while watching the low flying planes.
According to the New Zealand Herald, the island’s tourism director, Rolando Brison, spoke to the family and says that they understand that the incident occurred because they did not heed the danger signs.
“I met with the family of the deceased this evening and while they recognized that what they did was wrong, through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way,” he said.
The Sint Maarten police says they visit the area several times a day to discourage visitors from standing at the runway fence.
“Many tourists come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircrafts flying low above their heads and the holding on to the airport fence and standing in the jet blast of large aircraft taking off. Doing this is, however, extremely dangerous.”