A LATAM Airlines flight from Miami to Santiago, Chile, had to make an emergency landing after one of the plane’s pilots suffered an apparent heart attack in the bathroom.
Midway through the trip, flight attendants discovered Captain Iván Andaur Santibáñez collapsed and unresponsive, prompting the plane’s two co-pilots to land in Panama City.
A nurse and two doctors boarded the plane but could not resuscitate Andaur.
“When the plane landed, emergency services provided life-saving help, but the pilot sadly passed away,” the airline told The New York Post. “LATAM Group is deeply saddened by this event and takes this opportunity to express our most sincere condolences to the family of our employee.”
The nurse, who identified herself only as Isadora, said: “Unfortunately, we did not have the necessary or sufficient supplies to perform a good resuscitation.”
It was unclear what supplies she was referring to.
About the flight
There were 271 passengers aboard LATAM Airlines flight 505, a Boeing 787-9 Dreamliner, according to The Independent. The plane departed Miami at 10:11 pm on Monday. In addition to the three pilots manning the flight during the medical emergency, the flight also had a relief captain and first officer onboard. According to reports, it took the pilots about 30 minutes to land the plane after learning of the incident.
“They told us that we were going to land because the pilot felt sick, and when we arrived, they asked us to evacuate the plane because the situation had worsened,” said an unidentified passenger.
Captain Santibáñez was a 25-year veteran of the airline.
In a statement, LATAM Airlines said:
“We are deeply moved by what has happened, and we extend our sincere condolences to the family of our employee. We are deeply grateful for his 25-year career and his valuable contribution, which was always distinguished by his dedication, professionalism, and dedication. During the flight, all the necessary safety protocols were carried out to safeguard the life of the affected pilot.”