A 59-year-old Worcester man died Friday aboard an Emirates flight from Dubai to Boston, according to Massachusetts State Police. The man, who had been in India prior to a layover in Dubai, reportedly went into cardiac arrest on the flight and was determined to be deceased after the plane landed in Boston on Friday afternoon.
He “had been sick with gastrointestinal problems for several days prior to and including the day of his death,” according to police.
“In light of the man’s international travel, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in an abundance of caution will test for COVID-19 as part of its post-mortem examination,” police said. “The State Police investigation remains open while we await those autopsy results.”
Read state police’s full release below:
At approximately 12:30 p.m. Friday Massachusetts State Police at Troop F were notified that a passenger was in cardiac arrest aboard Emirates Flight EK237 enroute from Dubai to Boston. The passenger was a 59-year-old male from Worcester.
MSP Troopers, Boston EMS, and Massport Firefighters responded to Gate E11 to await arrival. Emirates EK237 arrived at approximately 2:55 p.m. and all other passengers exited the aircraft.
At approximately 3 p.m. Boston EMS determined the passenger who had been ill was deceased. His cause and manner of death is pending autopsy results.
Subsequent investigation by MSP Troop F and the State Police Detective Unit for Suffolk County, with assistance from Customs and Border Protection, determined the following:
1. The male travelled from Boston to Chennai, India on March 4, 2020 and had a layover in Dubai prior to his return flight;
2. The male had been sick with gastrointestinal problems for several days prior to and including the day of his death;
3. According to his next-of-kin, the male did not have any pre-existing medical conditions.
In light of the man’s international travel, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in an abundance of caution will test for COVID-19 as part of its post-mortem examination. The State Police investigation remains open while we await those autopsy results.
State Police investigators obtained a flight manifest for Emirates EK237 as part of the ongoing investigation. The manifest appears to indicate approximately 322 passengers and 18 crew members were aboard the plane, a Boeing 777.
COVID-19 symptoms generally involve fever, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, and ultimately severe chest congestion.
Members of the public can learn more about COVID-19 by going to www.mass.gov/coronavirus