Several media outlets are reporting that a 57-year-old, unidentified woman from New Zealand was killed when she was knocked over by the thrust from one the engines of a plane landing at the notoriously dangerous Princess Juliana Airport in St. Maarten.
According to Yahoo, she is understood to have died in the hospital where she was being treated for head injuries. The Caribbean airport is famous as one of the world’s most dangerous spots to go plane watching.
Despite signage urging vacationers not to get to close to the planes, scores of tourists ignore the warnings regularly to feel the force of the thrust, some even clinging to the fences to see if they can hang on.
According to a report by the Independent, planes – including double-decker 747s – must approach by skimming over the beach, which is heavily populated. Videos of “dangerous” landings regularly do the rounds on social media, as do selfies of swimwear-clad tourists sunbathing as a plane passes over them, according to the report.
According to Express, police confirmed the incident unfolded at 6 p.m. Wednesday night local time. A full investigation is now underway, according to the report.
A Recommendation From Travel Agent
Watching the planes land at Maho Beach in St. Maarten can be one of the most exciting parts of a St. Maarten trip, but there's a way to do it safely. While standing directly below the planes as they land can be exciting, it is also incredibly dangerous and, as we can see from this story, can even be life threatening. Instead of standing below the planes, Travel Agent suggests instead getting a table at the nearby Sunset Bar and Grill, a small bar located on Maho Beach. Here, guests still get incredibly close views of the planes, but in a safe, relaxing environment.