Local news

Delta Air Lines flight forced to land when teenage passenger dies

A 16-year-old passenger suddenly died on a Delta Air Lines flight from Seattle to Atlanta this morning, forcing the plane to land in Spokane.

The 16-year-old boy had a prior medical condition but was cleared to fly, Spokane Fire Assistant Chief Brian Schaeffer said. However, at about 10 a.m., he had a medical emergency, going into respiratory arrest and then cardiac arrest.

It was the boy’s first time flying, Schaeffer said.

The flight crew attempted to perform CPR on the boy but was unable to resuscitate him. Pilots landed the plane at Spokane International Airport. There were 258 passengers on the flight, who will return to the aircraft when it’s ready to depart, said Delta spokesman Michael Thomas.

No other flights were affected, said airport spokesman Todd Woodard.

The boy is now at the Spokane County Medical Examiner’s office, where an autopsy will determine the exact cause of death.

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