25-Year-Old Woman Dies on Plane & Frightening Questions Are Raised

window seatThere are more questions than answers now, but the heartbreaking fact is that a 25-year-old woman who was flying from Sao Paolo, Brazil, to Dallas, Texas died en route this morning. American Airlines Flight 96 made an emergency stop in Houston after she was in medical distress, and she was pronounced dead shortly after landing.

According to ABC, a physician happened to be on the flight and tried to help along with crew members to save her, but they weren't successful. Her identity hasn't been released, and all the airline is saying is that she became ill and there was no sign of trauma or any indication of foul play. International Science Times, however, questions whether it could have been a homicide as homicide detectives are involved in the case, and she was coming from Sao Paulo which is known for its deadly drug problems. That could certainly add an even more terrifying twist to this tragedy.

I'm a pretty nervous flier anyway. Mostly because I worry about things like falling from the sky to my death and terrorists, but the thought of a medical emergency (or an attempted murder!) occurring when you're unable to call 911 and thousands of feet in the air is terrifying. I know the odds are with me, and I wouldn't limit my travels because of my fears, but this case certainly puts one more what if in my mind.

More from The Stir: Woman Forced to Sit Next to Dead Man in 10-Hour Flight From Hell

It's not the first time someone has died in flight either. In June, a woman was forced to sit next to the body of a man who died on board during a 10-hour flight.  And in September a 64-year-old woman died on a flight from Seoul, South Korea to New York. Sure death is unpredictable and can happen anywhere, but it just seems especially tragic when happens like this, and in this case to someone so young. An autopsy is scheduled for tomorrow, and it will be interesting to see what the results reveal.

While of course our greatest sympathies are with this woman and her family, I also can't help but think how terrifying it must have been for those other passengers on the plane too. To see something like this happening in such a small, enclosed space has got to be unnerving and forever change their flying experiences.

Have you ever been on a plane when someone was in medical distress?

Image via Robert Raines/Flickr


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Kency09 Kency09

Probably a drug mule.

schlis schlis

Kency That was my first thought too. Sad, but it happens.

Julie... Julienikki06

I have been on 2 flights where a passenger had a seizure- once on the seat right in front of me. another time a lady was puking and then unresponsive in the bathroom- it is a very scary feeling!!!

nonmember avatar Lindsay

I was on a flight from Reagan National to West Palm Beach when someone died. He just slumped over in his seat and turned blue. They did CPR while we did an emergency landing in SC. I thought the flight crew did an amazing job trying to save the mans life. Come to find out he flew against dr orders after a surgery and died if a blood clot to the brain.


On a flight from Dallas to Seattle a woman became terribly ill & we were rerouted back to Salt Lake to meet an ambulance. In 40 years of flying I've seen selfish, thoughtless behavior becoming the norm. But I loved the way everyone on the plane just shrugged their shoulders & looked concerned that this stranger on our flight was in trouble. We were told upon landing in Seattle that she would be okay & that got a round of applause. Good flight!

nonmember avatar Lilac

Poor thing, she was probably a drug mule and the little plastic wrapped drugs in her tummy leaked and she died of an over dose. Its really sad.

nonmember avatar Nia

...or botched plastic surgery. Either way, there was a foreign object in her body.

nonmember avatar Buffy M

Was this possible DVT/ pulmonary embolism? My dad died on 9 July, 2004, at the age of 47, after getting off of a flight from Honolulu to Boise, ID-he did not get up and stretch or walk around as they ask you to do on long flights. While sitting and sleeping, he developed a clot in his leg and when he walked to baggage claim, he collapsed after picking up a box from the luggage carousel. 45 minutes later at the hospital, he was pronounced. He had lost 55 lbs over 8 months through diet and exercise and was young.

sbkidz sbkidz

First thought was she's a drug mule. Terrible way to live and die. My husband's a narc and he tells of how often this happens. Illegal Drugs have seen some pretty gruesome places before they make it to the syringe or glass or spoon.

nonmember avatar kevobx

What about her dead soul? Her spirit is in those people. No one is blessing her soul, why?

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