Samoa Airways says it has nothing further to say about concerns raised by the family of a 9-year-old boy who died during an Auckland-Apia flight operated by the airline.
The incident occurred on the airline’s flight OL732 that was en-route from Auckland to Apia on December 26, 2018.
Since the incident, a report by the New Zealand Herald, alleges that half-an-hour after the take off – the boy screamed out that he felt like he was going to die.
“A woman speaking on behalf of the family told the Herald the youngster suffered a severe asthma attack, not long into the OL732 Boxing Day journey,” the Herald reports.
“Now his family are calling on the airline, Samoa Airways, to reveal what its protocols are when it comes to mid-air emergencies and exactly what warrants an aircraft making an emergency landing or turning back.”
The concerns were passed on to the airline’s Marketing Manager, Dwayne Bentley, who refused to comment and added that they have already issued a statement.
“We have already issued a statement on it and we don’t have any further comments,” he told the Weekend Observer when approached for a comment.
The statement he is referring to was issued two days after the incident, in response to questions sent by the Samoa Observer.
According to the statement, a medical situation involving a passenger occurred whilst flight OL732 was en-route from Auckland to Apia.
“In response, cabin crew assisted and treated the passenger with oxygen."
“The passenger’s condition deteriorated and cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed by the Crew who also used the (onboard) defibrillator."
“Unfortunately there were no medical personnel onboard the flight."
“Prior to touchdown, the emergency was relayed to authorities on the ground, together with a request for priority-landing and medical services."
“The passenger, who according to family had a medical history which had not been disclosed to the Airline prior to the flight, sadly passed away."
“Samoa Airways offers its heartfelt condolences to the grieving family and will be assisting with the transfer of the deceased back to New Zealand once the family’s plans have been finalised.”
The Airline’s refusal is the subject of The NZ Herald editorial yesterday, reprinted by the Samoa Observer on page 12 of today’s newspaper.