A partly clothed and unresponsive woman was removed from the bathroom of an American Airlines plane at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport and later died, according to reports.
The woman, identified by relatives as Theresa Hines, 48, of Carrollton, Texas, was traveling alone on the 737, which arrived from Dallas on Monday afternoon.
Medical workers tried to help after the woman was found unresponsive in a rear bathroom while the plane with 146 passengers and six crew members was in the air, airport spokesman Pat Hogan said.
When the plane landed, the workers used a portable stretcher — a tarp with handles — to bring her down the aisle, he said.
The woman was wearing a shirt and underwear, Hogan said.
“That’s baloney,” passenger Art Endress told he Minneapolis Star Tribune.
He said he was seated not far from the bathroom when an EMT boarded with other responders, stood behind her head and “dragged her down the aisle.”
“The EMT was out of line,” said Endress, 63, a research engineer at Southern Methodist University. “The flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her.”
But another passenger disputed his account.
“She was not half-naked,” Dave Sampsell said in an e-mail to the paper. “Her pants were unfastened, but I saw nothing that any of the airline or EMT staff did inappropriately.”
Hogan said the emergency workers did nothing wrong.
“From our standpoint everything was handled according to the textbook,” Hogan told The Associated Press.
The woman was brought to the jet bridge where the EMTs spent about an hour trying to revive her, the paper reported.
Hogan said responders from Allina Health and the airport “were focused on trying to save her life and get her in the jetway, where they can continue to try to resuscitate her.”
The remaining passengers were kept on board while resuscitation efforts resumed, Hogan said.
After about an hour, a tarp was put up in the jetway to shield the woman as the passengers were allowed to leave.
A “team of flight attendants, a doctor, three nurses and other folks tended to our passenger before the flight landed,” the airline said.