Broward County

Elderly Woman Dies on Spirit Airlines Flight After Departing Fort Lauderdale

The 83-year-old female victim died on a flight that left en route for Costa Rica

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An elderly woman died onboard a Spirit Airlines flight after it left a South Florida airport, the airline confirmed.

The 83-year-old female victim died on a flight that left Fort Lauderdale / Hollywood International Airport en route for Costa Rica. The airline confirmed that CPR was administered to the victim, who has not been identified.

"Somebody was doing compressions. They were doing masked blow by blows," said Nathalie Albino, who was one of the passengers who rushed to help the woman.

Albino, who is a nurse, said the Spirit crew members didn't know what to do or where the medical supplies were.

"Nobody from Spirit was actually helping," she said.

The victim’s death was mentioned in a social media post in which another passenger said that employees on the plane did not cover the victim’s body. Albino said passengers used the woman's sweater to cover her head in the meantime.

"It's obvious they weren't prepared for this," said Albino's fiance, Jonathan Bunda, who was also on the flight.

They said plane continued on its flight Costa Rica for nearly an hour after she was declared dead, and passengers had to walk past her body as they left the plane.

Spirit Airlines, in a statement, said it offers their "deepest sympathies to the family and friends of our guest."

It would not discuss the incident publicly but added that they were closer to the airport in San Jose, Costa Rica than any other location.

“Turning around would have resulted in taking longer to land,” the statement read. “Once on the ground, Costa Rican law required our Guests to leave the aircraft first, so that authorities could carry out their local procedures.”

The airline added that its flight attendants worked with medical personnel on the aircraft to utilize the resources it had.

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