Dead man tries to board plane.

Posted: April 7, 2010 in Law & Disorder

Two women from Oldham tried to smuggle a dead relative on to a plane at Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

IlieThe corpse was pushed in on a wheelchair, complete with sunglasses, but as his two companions attempted to check him in for a flight to Berlin on Saturday, staff became suspicious and alerted the authorities.

The two women, his widow and step-daughter, who said they thought he was asleep were arrested on suspicion of failing to give notification of a death.

It appears that the 91-year-old German national had died a day earlier, and an attempt was being made to smuggle his body back to his homeland.

Mr Jarant’s step-daughter Anke Anusic said: “They would think that for 24 hours we would carry a dead person? This is ridiculous. He was moving, he was breathing. Eight people saw him. “Of course we did not know he was dead”

Ms Anusic said her step-father, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, had been treated in hospital for pneumonia. They had waited until he was better before booking a ticket to travel to his native Germany.

“He was released from hospital. He was fine. If he was not fine the hospital wouldn’t release him,” she said.

The family from Oldham had successfully managed to transport the body from their home to the airport by taxi. The driver is said to have been left ‘upset and devastated’ by the ordeal.

The events occurred at around 11am on Saturday. The body of the man was placed in a wheelchair, his eyes covered by sunglasses, when tentative enquiries as to his wellbeing were made, his companions insisted he was merely asleep.

But further investigation revealed the elderly man was in fact already dead.

Last night it emerged that the trio had booked their £40-a-head tickets with easyJet about a fortnight ago. Shame to waste the tickets eh?

Mrs Jarant and Mrs Anusic, both Germans living in Britain, are thought to have decided to press ahead with boarding the 1.25pm flight rather than risk paying up to £5,000 in repatriation fees.

A spokesman for easyJet said staff “were immediately concerned” about the pensioner’s health and as a result decided to call in a first aid team. Leah Gandy, 22, was working on the easyJet check-in desk when the incident happened. She said: “I’ve worked at the airport for three years, but this is the most shocking thing I’ve ever seen”.

Airport sources suggested the matter was uncovered even before the trio had reached the check-in desk. Once there it would have been impossible for the two women to continue to board the flight.

“The man would have had to hand over his passport to a member of the check-in staff and then answer a number of security questions,” said an easyJet source. In particular, he would have had to say whether his luggage contained any banned items and whether anyone had packed his bag for him. “If they’d managed to get that far they would then have had to go through security, pass their bags through the scanners and be asked for their boarding cards.”

The final hurdle would have been to convince easyJet carers specially assigned to wheelchair passengers that all was well.

Even if the trio had got airborne, they would have had to go through a similar process at Berlin Schoenfeld Airport. But by then the dead man would have been back in the Fatherland.

Although there are thought to be no suspicious circumstances, a Home Office pathologist is to carry out a post mortem on the corpse.

Bodies are normally repatriated inside hermetically-sealed zinc-lined coffins and kept in the cargo hold for the duration of the journey.

A spokesman for Rowland Brothers, a firm of funeral directors who specialise in arranging such journeys, said: “I have not heard of anything like this before. It is most bizarre. “There are rules and regulations to adhere to and documentation to complete before you can transport human remains to a foreign country.”

BY THE WAY

Did you know magistrates are handing out fines as little as £47 to convicted robbers whilst motorists who park unlawfully face fines of up to £70 outside London and up to £120 within the capital.

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