UAE | General

Man lay unconscious in Sharjah airport 15 hours after flight took off

Indian expat discovered at Sharjah airport is now in coma at Rashid Hospital

  • By Sharmila Dhal, Chief Reporter
  • Published: 23:19 July 17, 2013

  • Image Credit: Gulf News Archives
  • Unexpected turn: Sambandan Siva, passport copy below, had completed check-in and immigration formalities at Sharjah International Airport, left and was waiting to board his flight to Chennai when he fell unconscious. He was discovered only the next morning.
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Dubai: A 51-year-old Indian expatriate was found unconscious at Sharjah International Airport on July 3 — 15 hours after his flight took off, XPRESS has learnt.

Sambandan Siva is currently in a coma at Dubai’s Rashid Hospital. His condition is critical, his employers said.

Siva, who works with the UAE-based Al Huraiz Group, had taken a month’s leave to go to Chennai in India as he was not keeping well. He was booked on an Air Arabia flight on the evening of July 2.

His employers said Siva had completed check-in and immigration and was waiting to board his flight when he fell unconscious. But it was not until the next morning that he was discovered in that state.

A group official told XPRESS: “Siva was to reach Chennai at 2.30am on July 3. But his family called us at around 6am asking us why he had not arrived.

“We were shocked because as far as we knew, he had even cleared immigration.”

Realising something was amiss, Siva’s employers contacted the airline and airport authorities.

“An airport official took his details from us and went in the airport to search for him. At around 11.30am, we were informed that he had been found and was in bad shape. They cancelled his immigration check and handed him over to us. We immediately rushed him to Rashid Hospital,” he said.

Siva’s employers are shocked that he went unnoticed for 15 hours.

In a complaint to airport authorities, a company official said: “I really don’t know whom I should blame, the airport authority who didn’t notice [him] for 15 hours or the airline which didn’t bother to check for the passenger after issuing the boarding card.”

He said the airport authority had assured the company that they would look into the matter and take necessary action. XPRESS’ queries to the authorities did not get an immediate response.

The Al Huraiz official said: “We as a society need to be more alert. Had someone noticed Siva earlier, he could have received timely medical attention and perhaps his condition would not have deteriorated to such an extent.”

Comments (9)

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  1. Added 12:56 July 18, 2013

    The airline does not bother to call out passengers names, even if the boarding card has been issued and the passenger is not found at the boarding gate. They simply wash off their hands, saying the passenger should be responsible to arrrive at the boarding gate. It happend to our relatives, who missed their flight due to this attitude, while they were at the food court. In the end, they just had to buy a new ticket. What a way of looting passengers!

    M Pinto, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates

  2. Added 11:47 July 18, 2013

    Shocking!! Unconscious passenger went un-noticed for 15 hours. That too at air-port!! Wasn’t it a responsibility of the Air Arabia to search for the passenger when his immigration was cleared?

    Ravi, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

  3. Added 11:22 July 18, 2013

    We have n number of certifications, quality standards, regular inspections, safety checks and so on to ensure safety and security. But incidents like this creates doubt in the efficiency of the systems, effectiveness and competency of those in charge. However, it is good to see that susch incidents are reported in the media. Let public know what is happening and we should not trust on Names and Brands.

    Dhadendralal, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  4. Added 11:18 July 18, 2013

    When a person has cleared his immigration and not boarded his flight there is a final call made with the person name. If still he did not respond and missed his flight then the concerned airline has to update the airport authority or who ever is responsible regarding the same. If this would have been done things would have been better,

    XYZ, UAE, United Arab Emirates

  5. Added 09:57 July 18, 2013

    This will be another point the finger blame between the airport authorities and the airline at the expense of a human life left in jeopardy.

    Rami Abu Ghali, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  6. Added 09:45 July 18, 2013

    I call it a highly unprofessional attitude of the airport & airline authorities, who are least bothered about the well being of an individual.

    MJ, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  7. Added 09:29 July 18, 2013

    i think people in the UAE have to start thinking of others as part of community and help those who are in pain or distress.

    farida, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

  8. Added 08:28 July 18, 2013

    Thoughts are with the gentlemen and the family as they are going through this. As a pilot, I find it appalling how he could have gone unnoticed for 15 hours unconscious at a busy airport after checkin. Surely the airline has blame on their part as the carrier but more so the airport authorities in the end that according to the company the gentlemen was handed back to the company after he was found unconscious? Not rushed to hospital directly?

    Pasindu, London, United Kingdom

  9. Added 23:39 July 17, 2013

    That is because everyone is too busy with their smartphones.

    fahim ahmed, edmonton, ab, Canada