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Airline: EMT Focused On Dying Woman, Not Her Underwear

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Emergency workers in Minnesota have been criticized for their handling of a woman who was found unresponsive and partly clothed in the rear bathroom of a commercial jet.

On Monday, emergency workers removed the 48-year-old woman from the American Airlines Boeing 737 flying from Dallas to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in an effort to render medical aid.

However, the woman died shortly after being rushed off the plane. Relatives identified the woman as Theresa Hines, of Carrollton, Texas, and said she was traveling alone.

When the plane with 146 passengers and six crew members landed, the woman's partially clothed body was taken down the aisle of the jet in a tarp-like portable stretcher.

A passenger, Art Endress of Dallas, said that the EMT was "out of line" and that flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on the woman when she was taken past the seated passengers, according to the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

However, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan said that the woman was wearing a shift and underwear, and emergency workers were focused on saving her life.

A spokesman for American Airlines said that flight crew members do what they can "when a passenger is in medical distress" and then "hand over the responsibility for the passenger to the local first responders and stand clear of the situation."

Hines was pronounced dead after nearly an hour of attempt by emergency workers to revive her in the boarding bridge connecting the plane to the terminal. Passengers were kept on board the plane during that time.

Airport police classified the death as a possible case of cardiac arrest and estimated that Hines had been in the bathroom for 45 minutes.

American Airlines praised the flight attendants and passengers who helped the woman.

by RTT Staff Writer

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