Mall of America

Published on Friday, May 17, 2019

Deceased passenger lay undiscovered in airport lounge for 17 hours

A Cathay Pacific customer travelling to Hong Kong collapsed and died in the airline's business lounge in San Francisco but wasn't discovered until 17 hours later.

The 69-year-old man, Ming Kou Chan, was seen on security video inside the Cathay Pacific first class lounge at San Francisco Airport, last October.

Footage showed him entering the bathroom but he never re-emerged.

He was eventually found unresponsive 17 hours and 20 minutes later, according to the recently released coroner's report.

He was pronounced dead at the scene. 

San Mateo County coroner said Chan had clogged arteries in his heart.

It is unclear why the airline did not conduct a search after Chan failed to board the flight and it has not explained why he laid there undiscovered for so long.

"Out of respect for the parties involved, we will not be commenting on the specifics of the incident," a Cathay statement said.

San Francisco airport spokesperson Doug Yakel said Cathay Pacific is directly responsible for all operations including safety and security at the lounge

"From the airport's perspective we typically leave it up to the airlines to manage the situation whenever passengers don't actually board the flight," Malcolm Yeung of the airport commission added.

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