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British tourist, 59, dies on flight to Chile while sat next to his wife

A LATAM Airlines Airbus A319-100 plane (REUTERS)
A LATAM Airlines Airbus A319-100 plane (REUTERS)

A man believed to be a British holidaymaker has died on a flight to Chile.

The tourist, 59, and his wife were on a jet from the Falkland Islands heading to the southern city of Punta Arenas.

He tragically died before the plane operated by Chilean airline LATAM landed.

The man and his partner were due to take a second flight to the country’s capital Santiago de Chile.

Police from a homicide unit met the aircraft when it arrived at Carlos Ibanez del Campo Airport.

Diego Díaz, a deputy commissioner of the specialist unit based in Punta Arenas, confirmed his death.

He told local media: “On Saturday on the instructions of local prosecutors, detectives from the Punta Arenas Homicide Brigade went to Carlos Ibanez del Campo Airport.

“A British tourist aged 59 died inside a plane while it was travelling from the Falkland Islands to Punta Arenas before his connecting flight to Santiago.”

Mr Diaz said nothing had been discovered to suggest the death was suspicious, adding: “The man’s wife was interviewed and said he had several underlying health issues.”

A post-mortem examination is due to take place on Sunday or Monday. Officers expect it to confirm he died of natural causes.

The whereabouts of the dead man's wife were not immediately clear.

 (Latam Airlines)
(Latam Airlines)

LATAM, the largest airline in Latin America, were approached for comment by the Standard.

Last August, one of their pilots Captain Ivan Andaur, 56, died after falling ill during a flight from Miami to Chile.

He felt unwell and collapsed in the lavatory before another captain and a co-pilot took control of the aircraft which landed at Tocumen International Airport.

Paramedics provided first aid to Mr Andaur and pronounced him dead.