The family of a Nigerian woman, Remilekun Toyosi Meshioye, a passenger who died onboard Egypt Air flight MS 876 on Monday while on a connecting flight to Heathrow Airport in the United Kingdom, has slammed the airline and the Egyptian authorities for the disrespectful manner Toyosi was treated after her untimely death.
The family called on the federal government to investigate the circumstances leading to her death while in custody of Egypt Air.
The late Nigerian, whose UK visa indicated that she had a student work permit, was to connect London Heathrow via Cairo on Tuesday, September 5 aboard Egypt Air flight MS 777 after passing the night in the country upon arrival on Monday, September 4. However, she did not arrive her destination as the airline deposited her corpse in a morgue in Cairo.
Toyosi’s family having being surprised at the attitude of the airline for not informing them of the death only for them to receive information from the Egyptian Consular office in Cairo of the passing away of their daughter whom they presumed had arrive the United Kingdom.
The 43 year old Nigerian’s travel itinerary seen by our correspondent showed that she travelled aboard a Boeing 737-800 on the first leg of the journey to Cairo while a Boeing 777-300 was to convey her and others to London from the Egyptian capital.
A relative of Toyosi based in Leeds, UK, Mrs Olufunmilola Olaniyi-Alabi who spoke via a WhatsApp call in Lagos, expressed shock at the inability of the airline to contact the family of a passenger who duly chose to patronise the airline.
“We called Egypt Air customer care and all other contact phone details on their website but no response all through Wednesday and when the phone was picked they quickly cut it. It was only once that a man picked the call that we put through to Egypt Air regional office in London and he said the London office was not aware of what happened and didn’t have information to share with us.
“So, we were left with no choice but to report to the UK Police Department on Wednesday, and they later confirmed to us that our sister was not in the UK, they advised us to contact Cairo or Lagos airports. We 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,” she said.
According to her, the family is yet to come to grip with the news of the death of their daughter, saying, “Thank you for contacting us. We are shocked and greatly displeased with the attitude of Egypt Air. The Nigerian government must not allow a citizen of our country be treated this way by any nation and be allowed to go like that. We demand justice and investigation from the Nigerian authorities.
“It was the Egypt Air regional manager in their London office who made some calls on Thursday afternoon in her office to their Cairo office. She later informed us that Remi fell sick in the plane and on landing in Cairo they rushed her to the hospital in town where she later died. The effort to obtain more information from her was not quite successful as to how she died. She said the Nigerian embassy had been informed and they are the ones that should have contacted us. She later called the Nigerian consular (Mr Saliu Agraza).
“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 at this time that I am writing they are yet to provide to us. We spoke to the Nigerian Embassy in the person of Saliu Agraza who responded that Egypt Air only informed them on Tuesday that Remi was dead and handed over her body to them but did not have any other information or any contact of her relatives.”
The airline in a statement confirmed that Remi fell sick and was rushed to the hospital in Cairo saying the passenger reported she was sick when she arrived transit area of the airport and the airport quarantine checked her and decided she need to be hospitalized before airport authorities cleared here and stamped her into the country and transferred her to the hospital.”