National News Desk

Man dead after having medical emergency on United flight

United Boeing 757 taxiing from its gate to the runway before taking off.
egexplorer/iStock

By AMANDA MAILE, ABC News

(NEW ORLEANS) — A United flight was diverted after a passenger suffered a medical emergency and died.

United Flight 591 was diverted to New Orleans on Monday after a male passenger became ill. Paramedics transported the individual to a local hospital where he was pronounced deceased, the carrier said.

According to airline officials, the passenger’s wife told an emergency medical technican that her husband had COVID-related symptoms. Officials have not confirmed if the passenger was positive for the virus.

“Now that the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] has contacted us directly, we are sharing requested information with the agency so they can work with local health officials to conduct outreach to any customer the CDC believes may be at risk for possible exposure or infection,” the airline said in a statement.

United requires all its passengers to complete a “Ready-to-Fly” checklist before checking into a flight, which prompts them to acknowledge they have not tested positive for COVID-19 nor have they had any related symptoms in the past two weeks.

“We implore passengers not to travel if they have been diagnosed with COVID-19 or have COVID-related symptoms. If in doubt, the best option is to get tested,” United said.

Remaining passengers on the flight were able to continue on with their travel plans or take a later flight.

“The health and safety of our employees and customers is our highest priority, which is why we have various policies and procedures in place such as mask mandates and requiring customers to complete a ‘Ready-to-Fly’ checklist before the flight,” United said in a statement.

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