A flight attendant has died suddenly after suffering an unexpected heart attack mid-flight, according to reports.
Yasser Saleh Al Yazidi was a member of the cabin crew for Gulf Air.
Gulf Air flight GF-19 was forced to make an emergency landing when Yasser suffered a sudden and fatal cardiac arrest at 34,000ft during a flight from Bahrain to Paris.
Yasser, who was young and presumed to be otherwise healthy, tragically passed away after the plane left Bahrain International at 1.40 am on Tuesday.
The flight was destined for Paris Charles de Gaulle airport but the pilots of the Airbus A321 were forced to make an emergency landing in Erbil in the Kurdistan region of Iraq so Yasser could receive medical attention.
The plane was met by a medical team who immediately transferred the stricken cabin crew member to a nearby hospital.
However, Yasser was pronounced dead on arrival.
According to the Daily Mail, the attendant suffered a heart attack about an hour and a half into the flight.
The aircraft was cruising at an altitude of 34,000 feet over Iraq when Yasser was taken ill, director of Erbil airport Ahmed Hoshyar told Iraqi media.
The flight was grounded for roughly four hours at Erbil international airport before the passengers were able to continue on their journey to the French capital.
A Gulf Air statement released in the wake of Yasser’s death reads:
“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.
“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.”
Cabin crew members are typically trained to administer basic first aid and all planes are equipped with rudimentary first aid kits and medical supplies.
But most commercial flights do not travel with specialist medical equipment and, unless a doctor happens to be on board, pilots are generally required to perform an emergency landing at an appropriate airport should any serious medical issues arise during a flight.
There have been soaring reports on an increasing number of pilots, flight attendants, and passengers who have passed out or fainted during flight, or who have died as a result, in recent months.
As Slay News reported earlier this month, an Envoy Air pilot collapsed, slumped over the controls, and was pronounced dead shortly after taking off from Chicago O’Hare International Airport en route to Columbus, Ohio.
The crisis caused the copilot to take over control of the plane and make an emergency landing.
The pilot, Captain Patrick Ford of the American Eagle Embraer 175, was confirmed dead after the plane landed.
A Boeing flight commander also died suddenly during a flight from Novokuznetsk to St Petersburg in Russia in September, according to a report from a Russian news outlet.
The co-pilot had to make an emergency landing at Omsk airport, but the commander died before he could receive medical assistance.
“The resuscitation ambulance team arrived at the airport ten minutes before the plane landed,” the Ministry of Health of the Omsk Region said.
“The team stated the death of the pilot before providing medical assistance.”
Another pilot reportedly “fainted” at 30,000 feet, prompting the plane to make an emergency landing in Greece last August.
The airline, Jet2, called the incident a “medical emergency,” according to Birmingham Live.