Mass. Man Dies on Flight From Dubai to Boston, But Tests Negative for Coronavirus

The 59-year-old Worcester man did not have any pre-existing conditions, according to his next-of-kin

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UPDATE Monday, March 16: The man tested negative for the coronavirus, Massachusetts State Police said.

A Massachusetts man who died aboard an international flight that landed at Boston Logan International Airport will be tested for COVID-19, according to state police.

Around 12:30 p.m. Friday, Massachusetts State Police were notified that a passenger was in cardiac arrest aboard Emirates Flight EK237 enroute from Dubai to Boston.

State troopers, Boston EMS and Massport firefighters responded to Gate E11 to await the plane's arrival.

The Boeing 777 arrived around 2:55 p.m. at which time all other passengers exited the aircraft.

At about 3 p.m. Boston EMS determined the 59-year-old Worcester man, who had been ill mid-flight, was dead.

His cause and manner of death are pending autopsy results.

Given the man's international travel, the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will test for the coronavirus disease out of an abundance of caution, officials say.

Investigators determined the man had traveled from Boston to Chennai, India, on March 4. He had a layover in Dubai prior to his return flight on March 13.

The man had been sick with gastrointestinal problems for several days prior to and including the day he died, authorities say. The man's family told authorities that he did not have any pre-existing medical conditions.

COVID-19 symptoms generally involve fever, sore throat, coughing, shortness of breath, and ultimately severe chest congestion.

State police investigators obtained a flight manifest for Emirates EK237 as part of their ongoing investigation. The manifest appears to indicate approximately 322 passengers and 18 crew members were aboard the plane. 

The state police investigation remains open pending autopsy results.

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