Drug Overdose May Have Triggered Emergency Stop

A plane flying from Mexico to Britain was diverted to Portugal's mid-Atlantic Azores Islands after a British couple fell seriously ill during the flight, and the woman later died due to a suspected drug overdose, a news report said Wednesday.

The plane was carrying 280 people from Cancun to Birmingham when it made an emergency stop at Lajes airport late Tuesday, Lisbon radio station TSF said. It did not name the airline.

Leonor Bettencourt, director of the Santo Espirito Hospital in Angra do Heroismo, near the airport, told TSF the 23-year-old woman was dead on arrival.

Bettencourt told cable news channel SIC-Noticias that a 21-year-old man was in intensive care after undergoing surgery at the hospital. He had been carrying cocaine in his stomach, she said.

Bettencourt said the two had shown signs of having "taken illegal substances."

The report did not identify the man or woman by name. British Embassy officials in Lisbon declined to identify them.

Police said they would issue a statement later Wednesday.


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