Early on Wednesday, an Indian passenger who was on a flight home from Saudi Arabia, passed away after complaining of discomfort mid-flight.
The plane made an emergency landing in Abu Dhabi and a medical team at the airport responded quickly, rushing him to Mafraq hospital.
However, doctors were unable to save his life and he was pronounced dead shortly after, Gulf News reported.
Speaking to the English language daily, Ranjan Datta, manager of Air India in Abu Dhabi and Al Ain said:
"Air India Express flight IX-322 from Riyadh to Calicut landed at Abu Dhabi airport at 3.51pm after the passenger, Mohammad Saleem, 35, complained of discomfort.
Doctors at the hospital said initial diagnosis suggested heart attack as the cause of death; however, we have to wait for the death certificate to confirm it. We are sad that the young man’s life could not be saved despite the best efforts by the airline staff, the medical team at the airport and doctors at the hospital [sic]," he lamented.
According to Datta, the flight resumed its journey later on Wednesday, after Saleem's family was informed of the unfortunate news.
Airline officials are now "doing everything to support them."
Saleem's grieving family is in complete shock
Gulf News contacted Saleem’s brother, who also lives in Riyadh, but "he was not in a position to speak due to being in a state of shock."
A family neighbour, Ahmad Shareef, spoke to the publication instead and explained that Saleem had worked in Saudi Arabia for the past 14 years.
"He was diagnosed with a minor heart problem a few days ago and doctors had advised him to undergo further check-up and treatment in India as his medical insurance did not cover such procedures," he said.
Saleem, who leaves behind a wife and 2 young children, was originally planning to visit India later this year. However, he decided to travel earlier than planned for medical treatment.
Shareef stressed that the young man felt "perfectly well while preparing for travel."