Authorities are still unsure why a 41-year-old passenger died aboard a Toronto-bound Aeroflot Russian Airlines flight Wednesday, but one airline official believes alcohol may have been a factor.
About an hour before the plane was about to land at Pearson airport, the Russian man collapsed in a walkway between business and economy class.
Flight staff and two doctors — passengers on the nine-hour flight from Moscow — tried to resuscitate the man but were unsuccessful. He was pronounced dead after the plane landed around 5:30 p.m.
The man, who was travelling alone and whose name has not been released, was reportedly drinking heavily during the flight, becoming unruly and annoying some of the other 180 passengers on board.
“Until the investigation by appropriate authorities is complete, we can only assume that alcohol might have been a factor in his tragic demise,” Capt. Boris Mazurov said in a statement prepared by the airline yesterday.
The captain would not comment on witness reports that the man had been drinking from a bottle of liquor purchased at the duty-free shop before boarding the plane.
Mazurov spoke to the media through a translator at Aeroflot’s downtown Toronto office yesterday. He said a member of the crew told him what happened and he immediately contacted officials at Pearson, where emergency crews were then assembled.