Family Blames Airline for Woman's Death

American disputes cousin's account of in-flight incident
By Caroline Zimmerman,  Newser User
Posted Feb 25, 2008 3:28 PM CST
The American Airlines pilot agreed to ground the plane in Miami to get Carine Desir to a hospital, but she died before the plane could land.    (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – A woman who died en route from Haiti to New York received assistance from the flight crew and fellow passengers, American Airlines said today, disputing the victim's family's account of the incident. "Don't let me die," Carine Desir's cousin recalls her saying after a flight attendant refused to give her oxygen. "Oxygen was administered," an American spokesman said, "and the defibrillator was applied as well."

FAA rules say planes must have two oxygen dispensers on board. Both were found to be empty, Desir's cousin Antonio Oliver told the New York Daily News. A passenger tried CPR and Oliver requested that the plane stop in Miami so Desir could go to the hospital, but she died before the plane could land. "Her last words were, 'I cannot breathe,'" Oliver said.