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Kenyan man dies while en route to Nairobi from New York aboard KQ plane

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By Judith Gicobi

A 66-year-old man flying from the John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York, USA, passed away on Monday while traveling from USA to South Africa through Nairobi.

The passenger was a citizen of both Kenya and the United States, according to JKIA commandant Morris Kiplagat, who verified this to The Standard.

He reportedly experienced breathing problems and other symptoms while traveling on a Kenya Airways (KQ) aircraft, according to police records.

According to reports, the airplane, which was headed for Nairobi, had to make a detour to Morocco so the passenger could receive specialized medical care.

On arrival at the Moroccan hospital, he was, however, confirmed dead.

One of the passengers on the KQ aircraft, Robert Akwiri, told The Standard: “Medics on the Kenya Airways plane said his life was in danger as his organs showed signs of rapid failure. The flight had to be rerouted to Morocco. Most passengers were empathetic, and understood the situation.”

The deceased has already been named by police. The Standard won’t reveal his identity, though, due to ethical considerations.

The Moroccan hospital where the man was treated obtained the names and contact information of his family from KQ management and informed them of his passing.

The KQ flight was scheduled to land at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA)on Monday at 10:32am. However, because of the incident and subsequent rerouting, the flight arrived in Nairobi a little after 7pm instead.

The man’s relatives came at the airport, and they transported his body to the Montezuma Monalisa Funeral Home, which is located on Mbagathi Way (now known as Raila Odinga Road) next to the Kenya Defense Forces Memorial Hospital.

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According to the deceased’s brother, the 66-year-old man had diabetes and other underlying medical issues.

Upon the man passing away in Morocco, the deceased’s body was wrapped, packaged, and flown on a KQ aircraft as cargo.

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