Gov’t expresses condolences to family of jet blast incident

GREAT BAY—Minister of Tourism Mellissa Arrindell-Doncher expressed to the family of the visitor from New Zeeland who died Wednesday in the jet blast incident at Beacon Hill Road. The tourist was being blown away by jet blast from an airplane as it took off at the Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA). Reports suggest that the tourist hit her head on a concrete slab and died at the St. Maarten Medical Center, despite best efforts to revive her. “On behalf of the Ministry of Tourism, Economy, Traffic and Telecommunication (TEATT), my Cabinet and the Government of St. Maarten, I express heartfelt condolences to the family of our visitor from New Zealand who lost her life on Wednesday,” the minister said in a terse statement Thursday. “We have designated Head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau Mr. Rolando Brison as the point person for information and he has already met with the family directly to express our condolences as well and remain available for their needs. While the family recognized that what they did was a risk in lieu of the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way.  Right now our thoughts and prayers are with the family while we continue to investigate what transpired,” the minister concluded.
A police report Wednesday reinforced the dangers of thrill seekers who stand in the pathway of jet blasts from departing planes at the PJIA, adjacent the Maho Beach. “The landing and taking off of all types and size of aircrafts at the international airport of St. Maarten is well known worldwide as major tourist attraction. Many tourists come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircrafts flying low above their heads and the holding on to the airport fence and standing in the jet blast of large aircrafts taking off.  Doing this is however extremely dangerous,” the police report said.

Source: TODAY