Plane diverts to Bermuda after gospel singer dies during flight
A flight from Ghana to the US had to divert to Bermuda on Monday after a passenger died on-board.
The United Airlines 997 flight left Accra late on Sunday night, bound for Washington’s Dulles Airport.
According to news reports, the passenger began struggling to breathe midway through the flight. Despite the efforts of several doctors on-board, he died while the aircraft was still in the air.
The plane diverted to L.F. Wade International Airport, landing in Bermuda at 6am. Around 180 passengers and crew were taken to the Grotto Bay Beach Resort where they spent the day.
A spokeswoman for Skyport, the airport’s operations company, said passengers were able to resume their journey to the US shortly before midnight on Monday after United Airlines sent a recovery aircraft to the island.
The diverted aircraft and its crew were finally able to leave Bermuda on Tuesday night.
A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health confirmed that the aircraft had been forced to make an emergency landing – and that some Covid public safety precautions were observed.
The spokeswoman said: “A United Airlines flight from Ghana to New York was diverted to Bermuda early Monday morning due to a medical emergency on board.
“A medical team met the flight, and, unfortunately, the subject passenger was declared deceased at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital.
“The passengers were allowed to disembark the flight and underwent supervised antigen testing as a precaution in case they needed to leave the airport.
“No passengers tested positive, and after being tested, some passengers remained at the airport and left on different flights that day.
“Some passengers took advantage of the diversion and decided to stay in Bermuda for a few days. The United flight resumed its journey to Newark on Monday evening with a new flight crew.”
The spokeswoman did not confirm if passengers were required to fill out TA forms once they arrived in Bermuda, or if they had to quarantine during their unexpected stay.
The dead man has been named as Daniel Toffey, described as a well-known gospel singer from Columbus, Ohio, who was due to release an album next month.
Mr Toffey, who had been visiting relatives in Ghana, is believed to have died from a pulmonary embolism.