British holidaymaker dies after 'falling 50ft from ledge' in Turkish airport

Nick Reilly
Contributor
Andrew Westlake, 30, died after being rushed to hospital from Dalaman airport in south-west Turkey. (Picture: Facebook)

A British father has died after reportedly falling 50ft from a ledge in a Turkish airport.

Witnesses at Dalaman airport claimed that 30-year-old Andrew Westlake jumped from the balcony inside the terminal building.

Mr Westlake, from Co Durham, died after being rushed to hospital in south-west Turkey.

It is believed that he had waited three days for a flight home after ‘losing his ticket’.

But his family has they were still waiting for answers about the circumstances, amid conflicting reports of how he died.

Local media reports say that he argued with cabin crew after boarding a flight, and he was ordered off after ‘posing a risk to flight safety’.

Earlier it was reported that he had fallen from a plane onto the runway.

The incident occurred when the man fell from the plane at Dalaman Airport

 

Fellow passenger Perry Sheldon, from Dudley, North Tyneside, said he spoke to Mr Westlake before they boarded.

He said: “I was stood next to him and he seemed a bit strange at first, I think he was just nervous.

“I asked if he was all right and he said they had kicked him off a previous flight and the reason he said to me was he had blisters on his feet from sunburn.

“He said there were signs up saying people should not wash their feet and when they questioned him about it, they said it was an insult to their culture.”

Andrew Westlake was on his first family holiday with his partner and daughter

Mr Sheldon said passengers went through an intensive search at Dalaman, including being swabbed for explosives, before they were allowed to board.

Mr Westlake had received his boarding pass and passport and was allowed on, Mr Sheldon said, but after around 20 minutes he was removed from the flight.

Mr Sheldon said: “He didn’t act aggressively in any way, he just stood up and got off.

“All he did was say to the man next to him ‘I told you that would happen’.”

Mr Sheldon said Mr Westlake did not appear drunk and was not shouting, but described him as appearing “on edge” and seemed keen to get home.

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Airline Jet2 released a statement confirming that one of their customers died at Dalaman airport, but was not injured on or in the vicinity of an aircraft.

A spokesperson said: “We understand that a customer sadly passed away on Tuesday morning, following an incident inside the terminal building at Dalaman Airport.

“Contrary to some reports, we can confirm that the customer was not injured on our aircraft or in the vicinity of our aircraft.

“As investigations are ongoing it would be inappropriate for us to comment any further, however we would like to extend our sincere condolences to the customer’s family and friends at this very sad time.”

His aunt Pauline Butler, sister of his mother June, said: “We are still in the dark about what has happened.

“We have not heard from the Foreign Office. All we have heard is rumours, it’s not fair.”

Mr Westlake’s relatives revealed that he was on his first family holiday with his partner and one-year-old daughter.

A Foreign Office spokeswoman confirmed: ‘We are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Turkey and are in touch with the local authorities.’