Airline Passenger Dies Mid-Flight

Last Revised on February 25, 2008

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The cousin of a passenger having trouble breathing says an attendant first refused to bring oxygen. “Don’t let me die,” the cousin, Antonio Oliver, recalled Desir, 44, saying after the attendant allegedly refused at first to administer the oxygen Friday.

He said the flight attendant finally relented but various medical devices on the plane did not work, including two oxygen tanks that were found to be empty and what may have been a defibrillator that seemed to malfunction.

American Airlines on the other hand has been insisting that it tried to help a passenger who died after complaining she couldn’t breathe, and disputed the account of a relative who said that she was denied oxygen and that medical devices failed.

The airline said the oxygen tanks and a defibrillator were working and noted that several medical professionals on Flight 896, including a doctor, tried to save passenger Carine Desir,who had heart disease.

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