Apathetic: Airline leaves tourist lying unconscious for three hours

Apr 14, 2014, 08:53 IST | Neha LM Tripathi

Airport authorities claim the airline was hesitant in taking responsibility for the passenger; he was taken all the way to KEM Hospital, Sion, when he could have been rushed to a nearby one

34-year-old Ukrainian national Korostelros’ lay unconscious at Mumbai international airport for three hours, before the airline on which he was supposed to travel finally decided to admit him to hospital. Korostelros was to board the Jet Airways flight to Brussels on Wednesday night, when he had an epilepsy attack and fell unconscious around 9.15 pm at the T2 departures terminal.

Waiting to go: Korostelros is recovering in KEM Hospital, and is awaiting clearance from the neurosurgery dept to get discharged 

An on-duty doctor from Mumbai International Airport Pvt Ltd (MIAL) rushed to his aid and immediately advised hospitalisation. But, Jet Airways allegedly refused to immediately rush him to a nearby hospital.

He was left unattended for three long hours before he was admitted to KEM Hospital. He was taken to KEM only at around 12 am.

Airport officials allege that the airline didn’t want to take responsibility of the passenger. “The airline duty manager was informed immediately about the incident, but they were hesitant to take any action. He was then ushered to the Medical Inspection (MI) room in an unconscious state,” said an airport official present at the spot.

“The airline had decided they would take him to KEM Hospital, but took almost three hours to book a private ambulance to ferry him. Airport ambulances are used only for nearby hospitals to avoid any emergencies in the airport. The patient was unconscious when the decision of admitting him to KEM was taken by the airline,” said the airport official.

Korostelros is recuperating in ward number 11 of the civic-run hospital. When mid-day visited him on Friday, no one from the airline was present.

The on-duty doctor said he he called the airline officials on Friday several times, but no one answered his calls. It was learnt that a representative from the airline was present on Thursday. But, the patient was left to himself on Friday.

The doctor also added that he is fit to fly, but can be discharged only after receiving clearance from the neurosurgery department.

Despite several attempts, no one from KEM Hospital could be reached for comment.

The other side

An official Jet Airways spokesperson said, “A foreign guest, who was in transit from Goa on 9W 4017 to Brussels, fell unconscious inside the airport.

MIAL doctors, who informed the airline, suggested immediate hospitalisation and accordingly, the Jet Airways staff admitted the Ukrainian national to KEM Hospital, as he had no funds with him.

A Jet Airways staff member is present at the hospital with the guest, who is undergoing various medical tests, even as the airline is keeping the Ukrainian embassy updated on the situation.”

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