A four-year-old Kerala boy died on a flight due to epileptic seizures on his way back from Saudi Arabia after performing Umrah with his family.
The Oman Airways flight, flying from Jeddah to Kozhikode in Kerala, made an emergency landing in Abu Dhabi on Monday afternoon after the tragic incident, the airlines said.
The boy, identified as Yahya Puthiyapurayil developed epileptic seizures 45 minutes after the take-off, a relative told the Khaleej Times.
“He was running a mild fever while boarding the flight from Jeddah and developed epileptic seizures in mid-air. He died on his mother’s lap. The family is inconsolable,” said the boy’s uncle Mohammed Nadeer, who lives in Abu Dhabi.
Puthiyapurayil was a specially-abled child who could not walk or talk.
“He was wheel-chair bound and had been undergoing treatment since his birth. He was travelling with a 13-member family pilgrimage group including his parents, uncles and cousins,” the Khaleej Times reported on Wednesday.
An Indian Embassy official said the boy’s body was repatriated early on Tuesday morning on an Etihad flight. The body reached Kannur and the burial was done by the afternoon, according to relatives.
“We were notified about the tragic incident on Monday afternoon. We spoke to the immigration officials in Abu Dhabi to facilitate the visa for the father. It was around 10.30 p.m. in the night when the formalities were completed,” said M. Raja Murugan, Counsellor (Consular) at the Embassy.
“We opened the Embassy at night and facilitated the cancellation of the boy’s passport and registration of death and issued the no-objection letter to take the mortal remains to India.”