Emergency workers who carried a passenger's partially clothed body down the aisle of an American Airlines jet were focused on saving her life, a spokesman for the Minneapolis airport said Tuesday.
The woman died shortly after being rushed off the plane Monday afternoon at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
Airport spokesman Pat Hogan said medical professionals tried to help after the woman was found unresponsive in a bathroom while the plane with 146 passengers and six crew members was in the air. When the plane landed, he said emergency workers used a portable stretcher — a tarp with handles — to bring her down the aisle. The portable stretcher is easier to maneuver down a narrow aisle on a crowded flight than a regular stretcher, Hogan said.
The woman was wearing a shirt and underwear, Hogan said. A passenger, Art Endress of Dallas, told the Minneapolis Star Tribune it was "out of line" not to cover the woman.
Hogan said emergency workers did nothing wrong.
"From our standpoint everything was handled according to the textbook," Hogan told The Associated Press.
After nearly an hour of attempts to revive her in the boarding bridge connecting the plane to the terminal, the woman was pronounced dead, Hogan said. Passengers were kept on board during that time, he said.
Authorities did not release the name of the woman or her cause of death. Relatives identified her as Theresa Hines, 48, of Carrollton, Texas, and said she was traveling alone, the Star Tribune reported.
Fort Worth, Texas-based American Airlines praised flight attendants and passengers who helped the woman.
The episode comes after several high-profile incidents aboard passenger flights, including a United Airlines passenger who was dragged off a full flight at Chicago's O'Hare Airport on April 9 after refusing to give up his seat.
This story has been corrected to show American Airlines is based in Fort Worth, not Dallas.
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