Saturday, April 14, 2012

Ill American taken to Iran hospital after Emirates flight is diverted


An American man who suffered a heart attack on a flight from Dubai to Seattle is receiving medical treatment in Tehran after the plane diverted to Iran’s capital, the ISNA news agency reported on Saturday.

The mid-air emergency occurred on Friday as the Emirates aircraft was in Iranian airspace, Abbas Mosayebi, public relations chief for Iran’s Civil Aviation Organization, was quoted as saying.

“Yesterday (Friday), an airplane belonging to the Emirates airline, flying from Dubai to Seattle and while passing over Iran’s airspace, contacted the control tower and announced that one of this flight’s passengers had suffered a heart attack,” Mosayebi said.

The plane landed at Tehran’s Imam Khomeini international airport and a medical team took the 52-year-old American to a hospital in the capital, he added.

“Despite international sanctions against the Iranian people which also endanger their lives, yesterday we helped an American citizen in our country,” Mosayebi said.

The Swiss embassy in Tehran, which handles US interests in the absence of Iran-US diplomatic ties, declined to confirm or deny the report to AFP, referring enquiries to US officials in Washington.

Mosayebi’s office told AFP on Saturday that the American man was still in the Tehran hospital. It did not identify him.

The Emirates website lists a flight, EK229, that goes from Dubai in the United Arab Emirates to the U.S. west coast city of Seattle.

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