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American Airline passengers were horrified after staff on a plane allegedly dragged a ‘half-naked’ dying woman down the aisle of the aircraft after she suffered a heart attack, witnesses said.
Those aboard the Boeing 737 from Dallas to Minneapolis-St Paul said Theresa Hines, 48, had fallen ill in the toilets.
Crew noticed Ms Hines had been in the cubicle for some time after they gave landing instructions for everyone to return to their seats.
When she woman did not emerge, they discovered that she had collapsed.
But passengers say that emergency responders did nothing to cover Ms Hines’ modesty as they dragged her from the back of the aircraft to the front exit.
Art Endress, who was seated close to the bathroom where she is believed to have suffered a fatal attack, told the Star Tribune : “The EMT was out of line.”
The 63-year-old research engineer added: “The flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her.”
Mr Endress said Ms Hines was naked from the waist down,
But another passenger, Dave Sampsell, rubbished these claims and said: “She was not half-naked. Her pants were unfastened, but I saw nothing that any of the airline of EMT staff did inappropriately.”
American Airline officials said Ms Hines was wearing a shirt and underwear at the time and that their focus was getting her medical help.
The patient , from Carrolton, Texas, was then pulled past 150 passengers on a portable stretcher.
Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for American Airlines , told the Star Tribune that flight crews “do what they can when a passenger is in medical distress”.
They then “hand over the responsibility for the passenger to the local first responders and stand clear of the situation. We let them do their work.”
Mr Endress said that after realising Ms Hines had been in the bathroom for around 45 minutes, the crew asked passengers if any doctors or nurses were on baord.
A doctor, three nurses and other passengers are said to have tended to her.
After landing, Ms Hines was immediately removed from the plane where paramedics were waiting.
She was taken to the jet bridge where emergency services spent around one hour attempting to resuscitate her, but Ms Hines sadly passed away.
In a statement the airline said: “We are deeply saddened by this event and our thoughts and prayers go out to our passenger’s loved ones.
All other travellers were kept on the plane while medics tried to resuscitate the Ms Hines.
When they were eventually let off, a piece of tarpaulin was erected to cover her.
It is believed she died after suffering a heart attack.