Nigeria Passenger on Egypt Air Flight Dies in Cairo Enroute to London

Nigeria Passenger on Egypt Air Flight Dies in Cairo Enroute to London

Chinedu  Eze

A young Nigerian lady, Remilekun Toyosi Meshioye, has died in Cairo on transit to London and the family are demanding for the return of her body to Nigeria.

The deceased boarded EgyptAir flight on Monday through Murtala Muhammad International Airport (MMIA) Lagos but reportedly took ill on arrival in Cairo, as concerned authorities took her to hospital where she died.

The family of Meshioye had issued a statement saying the airline didn’t inform them of the death; rather, they received a message from the Nigeria Consular Office in Cairo informing them of the death of their daughter.

The family has also demanded that they needed the details of her death and the procedure to return her body to Nigeria.

The elder sister of the deceased, Olufunmilola Olaniyi-Alabi who spoke on behalf of the family, said in a statement that her sister left Lagos for the UK on Monday at 14:00 with Egyptair Airline and eventually died between her transit from Lagos to Cairo.

Olaniyi-Alabi said the family called EgyptAir customer care and all other contact phone details on their website but no response all through Wednesday and when the phone was picked they quickly cut it.

“It was only once that a man picked the call that we put through to EgyptAir Region Office in London and he said the London office is not aware of what happened and they don’t have information to share with us.

“So we were left with no choice but to report to the UK Police Department on Wednesday and they later confirmed to us that our sister was not in the UK. They advised us to contact Cairo or Lagos airports. We contacted the agent who sold the ticket to her and the agent sent us proof that she did board the plane going to Heathrow from Cairo,” she explained.

She disclosed that it was at this point that they intensified their efforts trying to get in touch with Egypt Air.

“Myself (elder sister) and my husband reside in Leeds, UK. We later travelled to London (Heathrow) on Wednesday night to get to London on Thursday morning and we demanded to see the Egypt Air regional manager in their London office who made some calls on Thursday afternoon in her office to their Cairo office.

“She later informed us that Remi fell sick in the plane and on landing in Cairo they rushed her to the hospital in town where she later died. The effort to obtain more information from her was not quite successful as to how she died. She said Nigeria embassy have been informed and they are ones that should have contacted us. She later called the Nigeria consular (Saliu Agraza).

“I strongly feel that EgyptAir should have contacted us as the passenger’s next of kin as against us struggling to get information which as at this time that I am writing, they are yet to provide to us.

“We spoke to the Nigerian Embassy in the person of Saliu Agraza who responded that EygptAir only informed them on Tuesday that Remi is dead and handed over her body to them but did not have any other information or any contact of her relatives.

“EygptAir further said that only Nigeria embassy in the person of Saliu as a Nigerian Consular will be able to write and demand for what happened on plane and at airport to Remilekun and request for all her belongings and documents that they have in their possession, including the CCTV footage in the plane and at the airport,”Olaniyi-Alabi said.

She expressed reservations that Egypt Air might be hiding some facts as to what happened to her in the plane and on landing at the airport on Monday night and do not want to take responsibility for what happened to her.

“As a family of Remilekun , we are demanding for her body to be returned back to Nigeria by EgyptAir at their own expenses and they should return all her luggage back to Lagos where she boarded the plane on Monday 4th of Sept,” she added.

However, a statement sent by Egypt Air in Lagos stated that the deceased was taken to hospital when she reported she was sick and that she died in the hospital, adding that the passenger’ route was Lagos to London via Cairo on the 4th September, 2023.

According to the airline, “When passenger arrived transit area, she reported she was sick. Airport quarantine department was called to check her and decided she needed to be hospitalised.

“The airport authorities cleared and stamped her into the country and transferred her to the hospital. The Nigerian embassy in Cairo was contacted (Tarek from public relations department) and was informed about the case,” EgyptAir office in Nigeria said.

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