Flight in China diverted after man found dead in aircraft toilet

An aircraft in China made an emergency landing this week after a man was found dead in the toilet.

The Air China CA4230 flight, scheduled to fly from Fuzhou in southeastern Fujian province to Chengdu in southwestern Sichuan province, took off on Wednesday evening but descended at Changsha Huanghua International Airport in central Hunan province an hour later citing “medical special circumstances”, news site Cqcb.com reported.

The man was suspected to have died by suicide in the aircraft lavatory, the report said.

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He was taken to Changsha No 8 Hospital near the airport where he was pronounced dead.

A passenger told the website the incident happened soon after the plane reached cruising altitude.

“In around half an hour, our plane dropped 10,500 metres (34,500 feet) at fast speed before landing at the Changsha airport,” he was quoted as saying. Almost all flight attendants were mobilised to deal with the emergency and passengers with medical training also joined the attempted rescue.

Some passengers praised the crew members on social media for their “swift and cool-minded action in handling this emergency”.

An emergency doctor from the Changsha hospital confirmed that the man had died, according to the Cqcb.com report, and no relative of the man had yet come forward.

Another witness, also a passenger on the plane, told Sina.com that he heard the attendants knock on the toilet door many times, but received no response.

“They called in the special police and told the man that if he still didn’t open the door, they would adopt some measures,” the passenger was quoted as saying.

Police were investigating the man’s death, Sina.com reported.

The diverted plane arrived in Chengdu early the next day.

If you are having suicidal thoughts, or you know someone who is, help is available. For Hong Kong, dial +852 2896 0000 for The Samaritans or +852 2382 0000 for Suicide Prevention Services. In the US, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline on +1 800 273 8255. For a list of other nations’ helplines, see this page.

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