A dying woman, who was removed Monday, June 12, from an airplane on a commercial flight from Dallas to the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, was only partially clothed, sparking anger over the handling of the matter, according to news report.
Theresa Hines, 48, of Carrollton, Texas, was traveling alone, relatives told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Her Facebook page reportedly noted that she studied at Texas Woman’s University, worked as a customer support supervisor and was married.
Hines, who is Black, died shortly after she was found unresponsive in the rear bathroom of the American Airlines Boeing 737, airport spokesman Patrick Hogan told the newspaper. Police estimated that she was in the bathroom for about 45 minutes, during which time she possibly suffered cardiac arrest.
American Airlines officials told the newspaper that a “team of flight attendants, a doctor, three nurses and other folks tended to our passenger before the flight landed.” They said the woman was wearing underwear and a shirt when she was taken off the plane and placed on a tarp-like portable stretcher by emergency medical technicians.
Whether or not the woman was appropriately covered when she was removed appears to remain in dispute.
Some witnesses said the woman was taken from the bathroom and brought up the aisle to the front of the plane filled with roughly 150 seated passengers wearing nothing from the waist down.
“That’s baloney,” passenger Art Endress told the Star Tribune, disputing the airline’s account. “The flight attendants could have thrown a blanket on her.”
But another witness said the woman was decently clothed.
“She was not half-naked,” passenger Dave Sampsell said in an email to the newspaper. “Her pants were unfastened, but I saw nothing that any of the airline or EMT staff did inappropriately.”
The Associated Press reported that Hines was pronounced dead after nearly an hour of attempts to revive her in the boarding bridge connecting the plane to the terminal.
The treatment of passengers, particularly nonwhite ones, by airlines has come under scrutiny in recent months after several confrontational incidents, including an Asian man who, after refusing to give up his seat, was dragged off a flight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport in April.