Rob Furman died in a plane crash at the Washington airfield where he worked
The emergency dispatcher on a Lufthansa Airlines flight in 2015 received some urgent information: Flight LCT-634 had been diverted and there was a medical emergency aboard.
“We just had a … woman pass out with an oxygen mask on,” the radio operator told the dispatcher.
CNBC reports that soon afterwards a second passenger on the departing flight from Atlanta to Frankfurt had been taken ill, and one of the medical crew on board went to check on him. However, as he began his examination he suddenly collapsed.
Arriving in Frankfurt the Airbus A321 aborted its landing and made an emergency landing in Washington state at 12.20am on Saturday local time.
The emergency hijacker had managed to override the flight control system and divert the plane to Renton.
The passenger taken ill was a 38-year-old man, whose identity has not been released.
Several of the flight crew from Lufthansa, and a number of other passengers, were reportedly injured in the crash.
Most suffered minor injuries and have been released from the hospital.
“It was very traumatic and it’s still very fresh in everyone’s minds,” said Jane Hanser, a spokeswoman for the Pierce County fire department.
Weirdly, less than 15 minutes after the accident the pilots sent out a tweet noting the dangers of flying over Seattle-Tacoma International:
Lufthansa Press (@lufthansapress) Would like to inform that the importantFlight #LCT634 which was diverted to #Renton after a medical emergency occurred onboard, appears to have crashed. Our thoughts and will be with the families of the crew and passengers.
Several passengers will recover from injuries of varying severity. Another two have been hospitalized in the intensive care unit.
“The first responders were fantastic, the airport was phenomenal, the ground staff was phenomenal,” said Rick Walk, Lufthansa’s global communications director.
Ten hours after the crash the plane’s fuselage was apparently punctured by an explosion of jet fuel and the large dent was visible. It was not immediately clear if the rupture caused the crash or what caused it.
The Boeing 737 plane had been due to stop at another airfield in Seattle after the original landing attempt.
Two years ago passenger Kareem Abdul-Jabbar tweeted that he had been “on board a Lufthansa jet that crashed in Virginia”.
In one of the more bizarre chapters in US aviation history, a bizarre emergency escape scenario emerged in August 2013 when a Delta airways flight took off to Detroit in the middle of a thunderstorm. The plane landed safely, but passengers refused to get off the plane at a crowded airport parking lot, insisting it needed to be pushed by a crane.
After more than an hour the plane was moved by crane and eventually the passengers disembarked and the passengers on board were eventually loaded onto another plane.