Horrifying accounts emerge of a 63-year-old German man coughing up blood mid-flight from Bangkok to Munich. Despite efforts, he succumbed to the catastrophic loss of blood. Passengers left traumatised. Lufthansa expressed condolences and regrets but was precluded from commenting further due to privacy concerns.
The nightmarish mid-air death of a German traveller on a flight which left Bangkok late on Thursday night was recalled on Friday by a horrified Swiss couple. 53-year-old Martin Missfelder and his nursing expert wife Kirinn explained how a 63-year-old German travelling with his Filipina wife to Munich, began coughing blood and later died after it began to gush from his mouth and nose.
A 63-year-old German passenger died hours after a flight took off from Suvarnabhumi Airport on Thursday night. In a horrifying testimony, passengers on the flight later told reporters that the elderly German man suffered a catastrophic loss of blood after the plane took off.
The passenger, already sick, was accompanied on the plane by his wife.
However, not long after the plane reached a higher altitude, blood began gushing from his nose and mouth.
Distressing scene aboard Lufthansa flight from Bangkok to Munich left all passengers traumatised by what they saw, as the older man’s health deteriorated
The medical emergency aboard the plane left both passengers and crew in a state of distress. Afterwards, the media were told that everyone aboard was ‘traumatised’ by what they experienced.
At length, it is reported that the German passed away after losing litres of blood. Previously, the man had been visibly ill even before boarding the plane.
The German travelling to Munich was not named by the authorities. In the meantime, a Swiss passenger on the plane gave some insight into what happened.
‘It was absolute horror, everyone was screaming,’ explained 53-year-old Martin Missfelder, from Zurich in Switzerland. He was quoted by Swiss news website Blick.
He confirmed that the man was accompanied by his Filipina wife.
The German appeared to be suffering from ‘cold sweats’. At the same time, he was visibly having breathing difficulties. The elderly passenger was taking his breaths quite quickly.
After takeoff and reaching an altitude, the German was given chamomile tea by the cabin crew. Following this, his convulsions and blood loss intensified
After that, other passengers tried to comfort the German man.
Simultaneously, the aircraft cabin crew, after takeoff, offered him chamomile tea and took his pulse. However, the situation deteriorated drastically after the flight reached a higher altitude.
The German man then started to cough up blood into paper bags provided by his attentive wife. After that, gushes of blood started to be excreted. Certainly, at one point, splatters and later coats of blood landed on the cabin walls.
The distressing situation worsened as the passengers on the flight craned to see what was happening. Some reportedly even took photographs.
Meanwhile, the man’s wife told cabin crew that her husband’s health had sunk after a period of stress.
In short, the couple had been forced to run to catch the flight at Suvarnabhumi Airport.
Swiss nursing expert was concerned for the German man’s health. After he was cleared to fly, she insisted that a doctor aboard be called to look at him
‘A flight attendant then reacted and asked him if he was okay, she was very worried,’ said the Swiss national’s 55-year-old wife Karinn. Karinn, who is a qualified nurse, was seated beside her husband directly behind the German Filipina couple.
It is understood that the Swiss woman had concerns about whether the elderly German should have been cleared to fly. Afterwards, when the flight was cleared for takeoff, she insisted the cabin crew find a doctor aboard.
Therefore, an appeal was made aboard for a doctor among the passengers. A Polish medic volunteered but had limited English skills. He took the German’s pulse and noted his condition but said he should be fine.
This was before the flight reached a higher altitude and the man was offered tea. At that point, the convulsions of blood began. They were to prove fatal for the German national who ultimately collapsed and died.
Hellish scenes in mid-air as the German’s nose and mouth erupted with blood with frantic cabin crew members later trying to resuscitate the collapsed man
Mr Missfelder recalled the horror that engulfed the plane as the German could not control the loss of blood. It erupted forcefully from his nose and mouth.
Simultaneously, the cabin crew tried to resuscitate the passenger. However, on Friday, Ms Missfelder, the health professional, was not impressed by these efforts. She described them as ‘amateurish’.
She said this went on for half an hour. Nevertheless, it was clear that the man was expiring, given the violence of the attack and the loss of blood suffered.
‘It was absolute horror, everyone was screaming,’ explained her husband Mr Martin. Subsequently, he said the man had lost litres of blood. Much of it expelled onto the cabin walls.
The Swiss couple described a scene of mayhem with a cabin crew out of their depth regarding how to respond.
Deadly silence invaded the plane
Finally, when the German expired, his body was moved to the galley area. A black curtain was drawn across it. Inside the plane’s cabin, there was silence.
‘It was dead quiet on board,’ disclosed Ms Karinn Missfelder.
After that, the Captain explained on the tannoy system there had been a death on board. At length, the plane was turning around and heading back to Bangkok.
Significantly, the Swiss woman blamed herself for not using her skills to help the man in his initial throes.
After that, the plane landed in Bangkok at 08.28 on Friday morning. In the meantime, they had to wait two hours before being given a briefing on what was happening.
Swiss couple felt concern at the treatment of the German man’s Filipina wife who negotiated customs alone and received no support after such a trauma
Later, a voucher worth 10 francs was distributed although passengers had no idea how to use it. Subsequently, they learned that they would be accommodated on other flights. Certainly, many passengers travelled on a flight which originated in Hong Kong bound for Europe.
The Swiss couple say that many of the passengers felt emotional about the plight of the German’s wife.
After the plane landed, she was left alone and had to negotiate the customs channels by herself. In short, she received no support after experiencing the severe trauma of losing her husband.
The couple suggested that Lufthansa should come forward and do more for the passengers. In particular, for the Filipina woman after her ordeal. They said it was ‘unacceptable’ speaking with the UK newspaper, the Mail Online.
Official statement from Lufthansa on the flight on Thursday night and Friday morning points out the body was handed over to Thai authorities after landing
In conclusion, Lufthansa acknowledged what happened on the flight.
On Friday a spokesperson explained: ‘We confirm that on 8 February 2024 on flight LH773 (Airbus A380) from Bangkok to Munich a medical emergency of a passenger occurred on board. Although immediate and comprehensive first aid measures were taken by the crew and a doctor on board, the passenger died during the flight. After 1.5 hours of flight time, the crew decided to return to Bangkok, where the aircraft landed normally and safely.’
The airline spoke of its cooperation with Thai authorities. A Thai medical unit met the craft on the apron at Suvarnabhumi Airport and took custody of the German man’s body.
‘There, the instructions of the medical emergency services and the Thai authorities were followed. The passengers on this flight have since been rebooked on other alternative flights as it has been cancelled,’ the Lufthansa spokesperson said. ‘Our thoughts are with the relatives of the deceased passenger. We also regret the inconvenience caused to the passengers of this flight.’
In addition, it went on to explain that it was precluded from commenting further due to privacy concerns.