News World NZ tourist killed by jet blast while plane-watching at Caribbean beach airport

NZ tourist killed by jet blast while plane-watching at Caribbean beach airport

St Maarten
Local authorities in the Dutch Caribbean territory of Sint Maarten say dozens of people have been injured by the jet blasts in recent years. Photo: Getty
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A New Zealand tourist has been killed by the blast from a jetliner taking off at a seaside airport in the Dutch Caribbean territory of Sint Maarten, officials said.

The 57-year-old woman was knocked into a wall as she tried to cling to a fence to feel the blast earlier this week, police said.

Footage posted on Facebook showed paramedics unsuccessfully trying to revive her, and police said the woman was taken to the hospital, where she was declared dead.

Her name was not released.

Sint Maarten tourism director Rolando Brison told the New Zealand Herald he had offered his condolences to the family of the woman.

“I met with the family of the deceased this evening and while they recognised that what they did was wrong, through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way,” Mr Brison said.

“At this time I only wish to express my deepest sympathy to the family and loved ones while we continue to investigate what transpired just hours ago.

“I didn’t want to ask them too many questions at this time, I just wanted them to know we are here for them.”

James Brackenridge Tuli, a tourist who was also on the beach, said it was a great tourist attraction but that people had to be careful.

“What happened is really sad,” he said.

“You should never put your life at risk when you are doing something like this. So I hope that people learn from this experience and don’t do this again, just watch it safely.”

Police said hundreds of tourists regularly ignore multiple warning signs to not stand by the fence at the Princess Juliana International Airport, which is less than 60 metres from the beach in the tiny territory.

A number of videos on YouTube show thrill-seekers standing by the fence and struggling to resist the blasts from planes as they land and take off.

Local authorities said dozens had been injured in recent years by the jet blasts, but this was the first time someone has died.

In 2012, a woman was seriously injured when she was blown into a concrete barrier while clinging to the fence and trying to feel the jet blast, Forbes reported.