U.S. News


16-Year-Old Dies On Atlanta-Bound Delta Flight

The plane headed from Seattle to Atlanta was forced to land in Spokane after a teenage boy suffered a medical emergency 20 minutes into the flight.
Posted at 10:53 AM, Dec 08, 2013

A Delta Airlines flight headed from Seattle to Atlanta had to make an early stop after a 16-year-old boy died on board.

KREM reports the unidentified boy had some sort of medical emergency only about 20 minutes into the flight. A passenger said the boy was taken to the back of the plane after an announcement about an emergency was made.

​The flight was diverted to Spokane International Airport when the boy died shortly after takeoff. (Via KHQ-TV)

WRTV notes some passengers thought the boy might have had a pre-existing condition because he was brought on the plane on a wheelchair. So far, officials say it appears the boy died of natural causes.

On its Facebook page, the Spokane Fire Department wrote: "Despite resuscitation attempts ... the young patient did not survive. The military family was traveling with the youth to Atlanta for a family Christmas."

Delta reportedly flew in another crew to the airport to get the remaining passengers to their final destination in Atlanta. There, WAGA asked one passenger about her experience. She said she was surprised the boy was so young.

"You assume it's someone older. And then when we landed and I had spoken to a couple other people, I actually found out it was someone who was a teen. Clearly we were all pretty upset about that."

NBC reports an autopsy is expected to be performed Monday.