By Tabora Bojang
A passenger collapsed at the Banjul airport and later passed away at a local health centre near the airport Sunday.
Online news portal The Fatu Network identified the deceased as Nicola Jane, a British national. It reported that she felt ‘dizzy and collapsed’ while in the airport terminal and was rushed to the Banjulinding health centre where she was pronounced dead.
The incident has prompted concerns about the viability of the Banjul airport despite millions of dollars being spent to expand and upgrade its facilities.
Last night, The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority issued a statement describing the incident as unfortunate and sorrowful. The statement reads:
“It is with profound sorrow that the Gambia Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) informs the general public of the unfortunate passing of a female checked-in passenger at Banjul International Airport. The unfortunate event happened around 19. 35pm on the evening of Sunday 15 October 2023, while the passenger was waiting to board a Turkish Airlines flight. Having completed the usual prelude of check-in procedures and protocols, the passenger entered the terminal departure lounge, settled down and rested for a while. She then decided to visit the Duty Free shop adjacent to the waiting lounge, which by virtue of its business offerings is the coldest in the departure lounge. Within seconds of entering the shopping space the passenger passed out while window shopping. Upon receipt of the alert, a team of relevant GCAA and State Public Health personnel immediately responded to the emergency and commandeered the Airport ambulance then rushed the deceased to Banjulinding Health Center for immediate medical attention where she was pronounced dead on arrival. The Gambia Civil Aviation Authority has duly informed the British High Commissioner of the development.”
The Standard contacted an official at the British High Commission in Banjul for reactions who said the High Commission does not have any comments to make on the incident.