A Nigerian student’s journey from Lagos to London aboard Egypt Air took a tragic turn when she reportedly fell sick mid-flight and died in the hospital.
The family of the deceased, identified as Meshioye Remilekun Toyosi, is now desperately seeking answers and assistance in repatriating her remains to Nigeria.
The ill-fated journey began on a Monday, with the young lady departing the Murtala Muhammad International Airport in Lagos, hoping to reach her destination – London.
Meshioye’s elder sister, Mrs. Olufunmilola Olaniyi-Alabi, while narrating what happened said the family tried to call the airline’s customer care and all other contact phone details on their website but got no response all through Wednesday.
She alleged that when the phone was picked up at some point, it was quickly disconnected.
She said, “It was only once that a man picked up the call that we put through to the Egypt Air 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.
“We then contacted the agent who sold the ticket to her and the agent sent us proof that she did not board the plane going to Heathrow from Cairo. It was at this point that we intensified our efforts as regards trying to get in touch with Egypt Air.”
“The regional manager in their London office made some calls on Thursday afternoon from her office to their Cairo office. She later informed us that Remi fell sick on the plane and on landing in Cairo, they rushed her to the hospital in town where she later died.
“Efforts made to obtain more information from her as to how she died was not successful, She said the Nigeria embassy had been informed and they were the ones that should have contacted us. She later called the Nigeria consular (Mr Saliu Agraza).
Speaking further, she said, “I strongly feel that Egypt Air 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 Mr. Saliu Agraza who responded that Eygpt Air only informed them on Tuesday that Remi had died and handed over her body to them, but did not have any other information or any contact of her relatives.
“Eygpt Air further said only the Nigerian Ambassador in the person of Mr. Saliu as a Nigerian Consular will be able to write and demand for what happened on the plane and at the airport to Remilekun, and to request for all her belongs and documents that they have in their possession, including the CCTV footage in the plane and at the airport.
“I am of the opinion that Egypt Air is hiding some truth as to what happened to her in the plane and on landing at the airport on Monday night. They don’t want to take responsibility for what happened to Remi.
“As a family of Remilekun, we are demanding for her body to be returned back to Nigeria by Egypt Air at their own expense and they should return all her luggage to Lagos, where she boarded the plane on Monday, 4th of September.
However, a top-ranking officer with the airline, who asked not to be named as the airline was yet to release an official statement, disclosed that the deceased was indeed on the said flight but was rushed to a hospital by the airline on arrival at Cairo, Egypt.
He said, “From the report that we received, she was sick on the flight and was reportedly transferred to the hospital in Cairo. When she died, they (the airline) informed the Nigerian Consulate in Cairo to take steps on what is required to repatriate her body to Nigeria.
“I don’t have enough information about it but I’m trying to contact Cairo station for more information. The airline took her to the hospital and stood as surety for her and when she passed on, they informed the Nigerian Consulate in Cairo about the case. We’re working on how to get her body back to Nigeria.”
A member of the family who spoke on condition of anonymity said one of the most distressing aspects of the tragic incident is that the family was not informed by the airline about her passing, instead, they received the devastating news from the consular office in Cairo.
The lack of communication from the airline only added to the family’s shock and grief, he said.
The grieving family appealed to the Federal Government, especially the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to help shed light on the events leading to the death of Remilekun.
They are also pleading for a thorough investigation into the matter to uncover what exactly transpired during the flight.
Furthermore, they are seeking guidance and support to challenge the process of repatriating her body to Nigeria.
Calls and messages made to the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority for reaction were yet to be responded to as of the time of filing this report.