Probe under way into baby's death in plane
Dubai, October 22, 2007
Indian authorities are investigating the reasons for the death of an infant on an Emirates flight from Mumbai via Dubai to Manchester last week.
Aditi, a three-and-a-half month-old Indian girl, died in her mother's arms, according to Indian reports, after milk and blood flowed from her nose when her mother started breastfeeding her after takeoff.
The EK 501 flight from Mumbai to Dubai had to turn back shortly after takeoff when the baby developed serious symptoms, an Emirates spokesperson was quoted as saying in a Gulf News report.
"The infant was taken to the nearest hospital where staff confirmed she had passed away. Reasons for the demise are still under investigation," said the spokesperson.
According to the airline, Emirates aircraft carry extensive on-board medical kits including a selection of commonly used drugs, intravenous fluids, resuscitation equipment, first-aid items, and even equipment to handle on-board deliveries.
Ashok and Sunita Shukla still do not know the cause of their child's death. "She breathed her last in her mother's lap. I could not do anything. I was helpless. I saw her die," Ashok Shukla was quoted as saying by Midday, a Mumbai newspaper.
Aditi apparently played with her parents until the 4.30am takeoff when she started crying. Thinking the child was hungry, her mother started breastfeeding her, but blood and milk soon began oozing from her nostrils and her face turned green, said the report.
Midday reported that the crew was alerted and a doctor on the flight was summoned. Ashok said the doctor, however, was not allowed to examine his daughter.
"We were flying over Karachi. Instead of landing at the nearest airport, we were brought back to Mumbai. A doctor was waiting on the runway. He examined my child and declared her dead on arrival," said Shukla.