An unidentified crew member of Emirates airline has died after falling off an emergency door of the aircraft parked at Entebbe international airport in Uganda.
According to reports, the Emirates flight – EK 730 – had just delivered passengers to Entebbe and was preparing to load other passengers for Dubai when the incident happened on Wednesday afternoon.
“Her knees were shattered and body cut with broken glass from a bottle she jumped with,” an eye witness at the airport was reported as saying.
Francis Sekandi, the spokesman for the Kisubi hospital where the female crew member was taken for emergency treatment following the fall on Wednesday, confirmed her death.
“We received her from the Civil Aviation Authority in an ambulance, but she was already dead,” Sekandi said late Thursday.
Uganda’s Civil Aviation Authority said an investigation into the incident has been opened.
“A female member of the crew appeared to have opened the emergency door and unfortunately fell off an Emirates aircraft that had safely landed and parked,” it said in a statement.
One witness, Isaac Seremba, who works at the airport, described the fall from one of the stationary plane’s emergency exits as an apparent “suicide” attempt.
Local newspaper, The Daily Monitor also cited unnamed sources as saying the woman appeared to have jumped intentionally from the plane.
“The exact cause of the incident was not yet clear but some eye witnesses cited possible suicide. She was seen holding what looked like a glass bottle under her chin before she made the fall.
“Other witnesses said they had seen her in a verbal exchange with colleagues as they boarded the plane,” the report said.
In an official statement, Emirates said, “a member of our cabin crew, unfortunately, fell from an open door while preparing the aircraft for boarding.”
The airline promised to, “extend our full cooperation to the authorities in their investigation,” read a statement issued by the Dubai-based carrier.