LONDON: Air steward Yasser Saleh Al-Yazidi died mid-air after suffering a heart attack on a Gulf Air flight from Bahrain to Paris on Tuesday, Mail Online reported.
The Airbus A321 was flying at 34,000 feet over Iraq when Al-Yazidi became ill, Erbil International Airport Director Ahmed Hoshyar told Iraqi media.
The pilots were forced to make an emergency landing in Erbil, Kurdistan, so that the crew member could receive medical treatment, Mail Online reported.
When the plane touched down, a medical team immediately transferred Al-Yazidi to a nearby hospital where he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The plane was grounded for nearly four hours in Erbil before continuing on its way to Paris.
In the wake of Al-Yazidi’s death, the Bahrain-owned airline issued a statement.
“The national carrier expresses its deepest condolences to the crew member’s family and loved ones and confirms that the flight resumed to Paris as scheduled,” it read.
“Gulf Air reassures that the safety of its passengers and crew comes at the top of its priorities and thanks the affected flight’s passengers for their patience and understanding.”
Flight attendants with Gulf Air go through an intensive eight-week program in which they are trained in first aid, safety and emergency procedures.
As most commercial flights do not carry specialized medical equipment, however, pilots are generally required to perform an emergency landing if any serious medical issues arise, Mail Online said.