|Co-pilot, named as 41-year-old Lim Hyun Soo from South Korea in Thai media, suffered a fatal coronary while Eastar Jet Flight ZE532 (above) was preparing for takeoff at Phuket International Airport|
More than 180 passengers were left stranded on the tarmac after the co-pilot of a Boeing 737-800 had a heart attack and died earlier this morning [Apr 15]. The co-pilot, named as 41-year-old Lim Hyun Soo from South Korea in Thai media, suffered a fatal coronary while Flight ZE532 was preparing for takeoff at Phuket International Airport.
He reported having problems breathing and was sent to Thalang hospital in Phuket. He reportedly received CPR en route and arrived at the hospital just before 4am but died at 8.20am. The low-cost airline cancelled the flight scheduled to travel to Incheon airport in Seoul, South Korea, at 2.20am.
All 186 people on board were taken to a hotel in Phuket until their new flight could be arranged.
The co-pilot reportedly flew 2,980 hours since he took a job in Eastar Jet in September 2011, according to the Korea Times. 'South Korean pilot Hyunsoo Lim, 41, died in the emergency room at Thalang Hospital at about 8:20am,' Lt Suporn Muangkai of the Thalang Police told the Phuket Gazette.
'His co-workers told us that they were conducting pre-flight checks at about 1am when Mr Lim complained of breathing difficulties and was rushed to hospital.'
'We found no signs of struggle on his body. 'At this stage, we believe that he might have had a heart attack, but we are still waiting for doctors to confirm the cause of death,' Lt Suporn said.
|All 186 people on board were taken to a hotel in Phuket until their new flight to Incheon airport in Seoul, South Korea, (above) could be arranged|
The Korean Embassy has been informed of Mr Lim's death. Eastar Jet is based in Seoul and flies to 14 destinations across Asia. Last month a Saudi passenger aircraft captain died minutes before landing a plane forcing his co-pilot to take over.
The pilot, Walid bin Mohammed Al Mohammed, was trying to land his plane at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh when he suffered a massive heart attack. Realising that something was wrong, his co-pilot, Rami Ben Ghazi was forced to take over control and successfully managed to bring the plane down to land.
Last year Cpt Michael Johnston, 57, was flying the plane with 147 passengers and five crew on board when he collapsed and died on an American Airlines overnight flight from Phoenix to Boston.