The family of deceased female admitted they were wrong not to adhere to the warning signs on Beacon Hill and the Airport Fence.
AIRPORT:--- A female tourist lost her life due to jet blast around 6pm Wednesday afternoon. SMN News learned that the tourist was standing close to the fence at the end of the Airport runway when Caribbean Airlines was taking off. It is understood that the victim blew away and fell hitting her head on the concrete causing her to lose her life.
It should be noted that management of Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIAE) did everything possible to ensure that tourists and curious onlookers stay away from the airport fence. However, the visible signs and painting of the fence did not stop the island's visitors and curious onlookers away from the airport fence and refrain from risking their lives just to experience the jet blast. This is not the first time persons that chose to disregard the warning signs got hurt. In an invited comment Director of the St. Maarten Tourism Authority Rolando Brison said he met with the visibly distraught family of the deceased on Tuesday evening and while they recognized that what they did was wrong through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that the risk they took turned out in the worst possible way. At this time I only wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones while we continue to investigate what exactly transpired just hours ago, Brison concluded.
Female dies as a result of serious incident.
On Wednesday, July 12th at approximately 06.00 p.m. the Emergency Central Dispatch received the first of several phone calls reporting an incident which took place on the Beacon Hill Road in the vicinity of the airport runway of the Princess Juliana International Airport.
From the reports, the Central Dispatch learned that several persons were holding on to the airport fence during the take off of a large jet aircraft. During the take off this aircraft, a 57-year-old female tourist from New Zealand was blown away by the jet blast and was seriously injured.
Immediately several police patrols and paramedics were directed to the scene to investigate what had taken place. On the scene, paramedics encountered a female victim who was not responding very well and she was immediately taken to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for further treatment. Unfortunately, the victim died shortly after as a result of the injuries she sustained.
The landing and taking off of all types and size of aircraft at the international airport of Sint Maarten is well-known worldwide as major tourist attraction. Many tourists come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircrafts flying low above their heads and the holding on to the airport fence and standing in the jet blast of large aircraft's taking off. Doing this is however extremely dangerous.
The airport authorities and other local authorities have taken all necessary measures such as the placing of signs to warn the general public not to stand in the path of the jet blast of a departing aircraft because of the danger involved. Police patrols on a daily basis visit that area during the busy hours to warn persons to stay away from that area during taking off jet aircraft's.
The local authorities are urging the general public and mainly visitors to the island to adhere to the warning signs that are placed at that location to avoid serious injuries which can ultimately lead to the loss of life.
KPSM Police Report
Statement from the Board of Directors of PJIAE
The Supervisory Board of Directors, Management, and Staff of PJIAE are saddened to have learned of the passing of a female tourist yesterday evening, as a result of injuries sustained during an unfortunate accident while an aircraft took off.
Further investigation by the local authorities will have to show what exactly took place; for now we cannot express enough, our deepest sympathy to the family and friends of the deceased.