A woman who experienced medical distress shortly after entering an airplane bathroom was dragged partially clothed down the aisle of the crowded commercial airline, much to the horror of other passengers, so that EMTs could render medical aid to her outside the plane.
The Minnesota Star Tribune reports that the woman, identified by relatives as 48-year-old Theresa Hines of Carrolton, Texas, died shortly after being removed from the rear bathroom of the American Airlines Boeing 737 that was flying from Dallas to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
One passenger, who was distressed by what he saw, told the Star Tribune that Hines was naked from the waist down when she was removed from the plane and that emergency workers should have covered her up. However, a second passenger, David Sampsell, told the paper via email that she was not half-naked, and that her pants were simply unfastened.
Officials from American Airlines said the woman was wearing a shirt and “underwear” when she was taken off the plane on a portable stretcher, while passenger Art Endress said, “The EMT was out of line,” and that the “flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her.”
Hines went into the bathroom halfway through the two-hour-and-45-minute flight and never came out, according to the report. As flight attendants were going through the landing directions, they noticed that someone was still in the bathroom.
When they got no answer after knocking on the door several times, the door was opened, and flight attendants asked for help from any doctor or nurse who might be aboard the flight.
American Airlines officials told the Star Tribune that a “team of flight attendants, a doctor, three nurses and other folk tended to our passenger before our flight landed.”
Hines, who was traveling alone, was in the bathroom when she fell into distress, and police estimate that she had been in the bathroom for 45 minutes.
In a statement, American Airlines said, “We are deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers go out to our passenger’s loved ones.”
A GoFundMe has been established to help Hines’ family with funeral expenses.
Read more at the Star Tribune.