JAMAICA: Man turned away from British Airways flight dies after missing blood transfusion



A British man died at hospital in Jamaica after he was denied boarding on a return flight to the UK for a blood transfusion because of a “badly damaged” passport.

The deceased is 41-year-old Chaz Carl Powell.

Powell, who had sickle cell anaemia, was in Jamaica visiting his girlfriend but had to return to the UK to undergo his treatment for the disorder — that of a regular blood transfusion at King’s College Hospital.

However, when he tried to leave on his March 9 flight from the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay, St James, Powell was denied access by British Airways, reportedly because his passport was in poor shape for validation for international travel.

The southeast London resident reportedly also had his UK driving license on him which reportedly matched his damaged passport picture but was still not allowed to board his flight.

According to a Metro News UK report, Powell then applied for emergency travel documents at the British Consulate, however, he took ill during that period.

He reportedly developed severe jaundice — a visible symptom of his sickle cell anaemia — and complained of stomach aches.

His girlfriend then took him to the hospital where he died on March 12, “despite doctors trying to resuscitate him”, the Metro News UK report said, adding that his death was then classified as “sudden”.

The family is awaiting a post-mortem.

Meanwhile, British Airways offered its condolences to the family but stood by its decision to deny him access to the flight.

“We’re saddened to hear that one of our customers has passed away and our thoughts are with his friends and family at this difficult time,” a release from the airline stated.

“Airlines are required by law to ensure that all documents presented for travel are valid.

“While our airport team did what they could to help Mr Powell, unfortunately, the photo page of his passport was so badly damaged it could no longer be regarded as a valid travel document,” British Airways said.

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