Many tourists to St. Maarten live for the thrill of a jet blast at the airport near Maho Beach. (YouTube screen grab KLM airline landing)
By NAN Contributor
News Americas, PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten, Thurs. July 13, 2017: A New Zealand family is mourning the loss of their loved one today after the 57-year-old tourist from the country lost her life in St. Maarten, standing too close near the end of the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) as a Caribbean Airlines plane was taking off.
The jet’s blast blew the woman away from the fence she and others were holding on to, causing her to fall and hit her head on the concrete pavement.
The St. Maarten Airport has a very clear sign that warns of the danger of standing too close to the fence.
A KPSM police report said the incident happened at approximately 6.00 p.m. EST yesterday evening, Wednesday July 12, 2017 at Beacon Hill Road in the vicinity of the airport runway on Maho Beach.
The Central Dispatch was told that several persons were holding on to the airport fence during the take off when the woman, whose name has not been released, was blown away by the jet blast from Boeing 737 that was departing for Trinidad
Paramedics rushed her to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment but she died shortly after.
Management of PJIAE has visible signs warning onlookers to away from the airport fence due to jet blasts, but many choose to disregard the signs to experience the event.
Director of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority Rolando Brison told SXM news that he met with the visibly distraught family of the deceased on Tuesday evening and while they recognized that what they did was wrong through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that the risk they took turned out in the worst possible way.
“At this time I only wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones while we continue to investigate what exactly transpired just hours ago,” Brison was quoted as saying.