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Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Toddler dies on transatlantic flight

A two year old baby girl has died on a passenger plane en-route from Germany to the U.S.

The toddler, an Ethiopian national, became ill shortly after the Lufthansa flight which was travelling from Frankfurt to New York, got airborne. It was around 2.30pm when the pilot asked for an emergency landing at Shannon airport.

Gardai, paramedics and a local doctor were on standby when the plane landed but the child was declared dead at the scene.

The toddlers body remains in the sealed off plane tonight as the state pathologist prepares to carry out an examination. The 303 passengers on board the plane will be interviewed by investigating Gardai, which is normal under the circumstances.

A Garda spokesman said tonight that the death is not being treated as suspicious although inquiries are currently ongoing.

"The authorities are doing the investigation on this case and as it's an ongoing investigation we will not give out any further information."
The child was travelling with its parents. Following examinations the body will be removed to the Regional Hospital, Limerick for a post mortem.

Wednesdays Independent reports,

Gardai are believed to be looking at the possibility that the child had been suffering from dehydration and may have been ill before boarding the flight. An airport source said that another possibility being explored is that the toddler may have choked during feeding

A post mortem examination has been completed on the body of the toddler and has concluded that she died of natural causes.

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