A Man Dies After His Flight Was Delayed For 13 Hours On The Ground In Abu Dhabi

Matthew DeBord
Etihad Airline Airplane

HENNING KAISER/AFP/Getty Images Not the plane that was delayed.

After a 13-hour delay on Saturday due to fog, a 73-year-old man died on an Etihad flight bound to Germany from Abu Dhabi.

"Cabin crew were found to have provided all possible assistance," the airline said, according to The National.

Two doctors on the flight who attempted to treat the man observed that he had a scar consistent with heart surgery, the Abu Dhabi-based newspaper reported.

From the evidence currently available, it appears that the man died from natural causes. He was found in his seat and experienced trouble breathing before the doctors and crew administered medical assistance.

NEWS Man dies after 13-hour plane delay on the tarmac on Etihad Airways #EY23 http://t.co/LPWzQWPVrs pic.twitter.com/dIO125R6a2

— Air News agency (@airlivenet) January 6, 2015

Etihad's on-time rating is very good, but not great. Excessive delays are very rare for the airline.

That said...

Thirteen hours?!

In the US, the Department of Transportation instituted regulations in 2010 that prevented anything even remotely like that. Airlines must now allow passengers to leave the plane after a delay of three hours on the tarmac — or face hefty fines.

Excessive delays don't happen that often, but when they do ... look out! And with a death involved in this case, expect that the US rules may find broader application worldwide.



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