This Day (Lagos)

3 September 2014

Nigeria: UK Deputy High Commissioner Slumps, Dies at Lagos Airport

Photo: Nigeria News
Deputy British High Commissioner to Nigeria, Peter Carter Leslie

The British Deputy High Commissioner to Nigeria, Ambassador Peter Carter Leslie, slumped and died Tuesday from a possible heart attack on arrival at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos.

The deceased who arrived Lagos on United Airlines Flight UA143 at 3.50 pm local time slumped in the avio-bridge while he was alighting from the aircraft.

THISDAY gathered that officials from British High Commission and the Port Health Services tried to resuscitate him with oxygen but the effort failed.

"We have an incident here. The UK Deputy High Commissioner who just arrived this afternoon on a United Airlines flight just slumped as he was coming out of the aircraft and died. He is being evaluated at this moment," an informed source told THISDAY.

Nobody knew the cause of the death or if he was sick onboard the aircraft, but a worker with one of the aviation handling companies disclosed that he saw the gathering of officers from the high commission who kept mum and looked solemn, before he learnt about the tragic incident.

THISDAY learnt that as the deceased was leaving the aircraft, he started gasping for breath and needed oxygen which was brought to resuscitate him but failed to recover.

Efforts to get the confirmation of the British High Commission in Lagos and Abuja, as well as the Minister of Foreign Affairs, proved unsuccessful yesterday, as calls to the commission and the ministry were unanswered.

However, a letter written by the Federal Ministry of Health Port Health Services, which was signed by Doctors E.E. Ukatu and Abdullai, and was made available to THISDAY by airport sources, stated: "The Port Health Services was called today (2/9/14) by a FAAN (Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria) medical nurse at about 4.07 pm from the D arrival screening point to see a passenger (the deceased) said to have arrived onboard a United Airlines flight from Houston, Texas.

"It was reported that after disembarking, the passenger was observed to be clutching his chest and asking for help.

"In the course of examination, he was asked if he was Asthmatic, and he said 'MAY BE'.

"On examination, he was found to be pale, in respiratory distress (gasping for breath), his pulse was rapid and thready. Based on his response to the question if he was asthmatic, a Ventolin inhaler was administered, but was not effective, as the patient was restless and threw off the inhaler to the floor. He was placed on the left lateral position and at the same time, oxygen was called for.

"Efforts were made to administer oxygen, while a second doctor was called and suction applied via a suction machine to clear the airway.
"Subsequently, the patient suffered a cardio-pulmonary arrest; the radial and carotid pulses were no longer palpable and patient was observed to be cyanosed. Attempts at resuscitation proved abortive. Pupils were fixed and dilated and patient was certified dead at 4.26 pm."

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