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Passenger on AI flight suffers heart attack, doctors on ground relay advice

A passenger on an Air India flight who suffered a heart attack got medical attention on board as doctors on ground relayed advice to the pilots from the ATC tower till the aircraft made an emergency landing

New Delhi/Kolkata: He suffered a heart attack on an Air India flight from Bangkok to Mumbai but the passenger got some medical attention on board after doctors on ground relayed advice to the pilots from the ATC tower till the aircraft made an emergency landing in Kolkata.

As the condition of the male passenger on Flight AI-331 continued to deteriorate on Wednesday night, the pilots radioed the Kolkata air traffic control to report the onboard medical emergency, according to the state-owned air carrier. Some time later, the pilots, Sarabjeet Singh and Pranay Misal, sought permission to make an unscheduled landing at the Kolkata airport and asked the Air Traffic Control(ATC) to keep medical teams on stand-by.

They also asked the air traffic controllers to arrange for urgent advice from doctors on the ground, Air India officials said. Acting on the request from the pilots, the Airports Authority of India rushed its doctors to the ATC tower, who interacted with them over the Very High Frequency (VHF) communication line to advise on the emergency treatment to help the passenger till the flight landed, they said.

The flight, carrying 244 passengers, made the emergency landing at Kolkata around 2200 hours. The sick passenger identified as J Babariya (58), a resident of Gujarat, and two of his associates disembarked at at the Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose International Airport in Kolkata.Babariya was soon rushed to a local private hospital where he later died, airport police said. The flight left for Mumbai shortly after midnight.

"The initiative of our pilots once again highlights the presence of mind and commitment of Air India's flying crew during crisis situations," a spokesman of the national carrier said.

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