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Woman Dies After Jet Engine Blast Knocks Her Down

Image: Woman Dies After Jet Engine Blast Knocks Her Down

Warning sign at Princess Juliana airport by Maho beach. (Steveheap/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 14 Jul 2017 05:55 AM

A New Zealand woman died after a jet engine blast in the Caribbean knocked her down as airliner took off from Princess Juliana International Airport on Sint Maarten Island.

The woman, 57, was holding on to a fence at the end of the airport's runway when a Boeing 737 left for a trip to Trinidad when the engine's blast tossed the woman backward, causing her to fall and hit her head on the concrete pavement, the New Zealand Herald reported.

Officials said paramedics rushed to the woman after the incident but she died a short time later, according to the Herald. The woman's name was not made public in various media reports.

The area is a popular tourist attraction where passenger planes fly low over a nearby beach before touching down and taking off on the runway next to area. Warnings are posted about the dangers of standing too close to the fence.

The airport's runway is just 160 feet from Maho beach, a spot that is heavily populated by tourists from around the world, BBC News reported.

"The landing and taking off of all types and size of aircrafts at the international airport of Sint Maarten is well known worldwide as major tourist attraction," Sint Maarten police said in a statement, according to the BBC News.

"Many tourists come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircrafts flying low above their heads and the holding on to the airport fence and standing in the jet blast of large aircraft taking off. Doing this is, however, extremely dangerous," the police statement continued.

Travel journalist Cynthia Drescher, a contributor to England's The Independent, told the publication that she never felt in anger during her times at the airport's fence but added that the large signs there did reinforce the possible danger.

"Just being in the area you know what you're getting into," Drescher told The Independent. "So many videos and photos exist of it, for years, and nothing fatal has occurred until now. It was an avgeek must for me.

"I think those who come to the beach not knowing what they're in for, being peer-pressured into joining others, are most at risk. The airport's aviation operations aren't dangerous. Being a human so near the end of a runway with planes taking off is."

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A New Zealand woman died after a jet engine blast in the Caribbean knocked her down as airliner took off from Princess Juliana International Airport on Sint Maarten Island.
woman, dies, jet, engine, blast
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2017-55-14
Friday, 14 Jul 2017 05:55 AM
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