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NZ woman blown to death by jet blast in Caribbean

July 14, 2017 Headline News 1 Comment Email Email

In a bizarre holiday tragedy, a New Zealand woman touring  the tiny Caribbean island nation of Sint Maarten has died after being bowled over by the blast of a departing jet aircraft.

The runway at Princess Juliana International Airport on Sint Maarten is a famously hair-raising tourist attraction. Jets land and take off just metres from Maho Beach, zooming low over tourists in bikinis, who frantically hang on to the fence so they won’t be blown into the sea by the enormous blasts from jet engines.

Signs warn visitors of the hazard: DANGER. DO NOT STAND. JET BLAST.

The following 90-second video sums it up.

Reports say the 57-year-old New Zealander was bowled over backwards by the howling blast from the engines of a departing B737, and seriously hurt when she hit her head on a concrete pavement or wall. Despite receiving swift medical aid and CPR, she died not long afterwards.

The New Zealand Herald spoke to the director of tourism for Sint Maarten, Rolando Brison, who said he had passed on his condolences to the victim’s family.

He would not comment further on the details, but told the Herald he would review security videotapes today to establish what happened.

Sint Maarten, a very small settlement in the Caribbean, is a “constituent country” of the Netherlands. Its population of 33,600 people live on an area just 34 square kilometres in size – which makes airport runway space scarce. Sint Maarten (its capital is Philipsburg) occupies the southern 40% of the divided island of Saint Martin, while the northern 60% of the island constitutes the French overseas collectivity of Saint-Martin.

Written by Peter Needham

Currently there is "1 comment" on this Article:

  1. AgentGerko says:

    Now I guess they’ll close down one of the great plane spotter experiences because of one woman who ignored the signs.

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