Minneapolis-bound Delta flight lands in Rochester after passenger dies


A Delta Airlines flight heading for Minneapolis was diverted to Rochester International Airport Sunday night after a passenger died mid-flight, according to reports.

An 82-year-old Texas woman died on the flight from San Antonio. KAAL says the woman became unresponsive during the flight, and by the time the jet landed she had died.

The cause of the woman's death is unknown, but it doesn't appear to be suspicious, WCCO says. The Rochester Post Bulletin reports she had a history of medical issues.

The woman was on her way to Minneapolis to visit family. She also had a 9-year-old dog under her seat when she died, WCCO notes. Rochester Police took custody of the dog and planned to give it to the woman's family.

Rochester police told KARE 11 that the pilot decided to land in Rochester instead of continuing to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It was not immediately known if or when the flight continued on to Minneapolis, KTTC says.

Medical emergencies happen on one in every 604 flights, according to a 2013 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine. The study says of those, 0.3 percent of the passengers die.

ABC News published a story last December detailing how in-flight medical emergencies are handled after a teenager died mid-flight, saying flight crews are trained in CPR using defibrillators, on-board medical equipment and oxygen.

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