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The flight attendant who died of a heart attack on a New York-bound plane was identified Friday as Emile Griffith, a 30-year Hawaiian Airlines veteran, officials said.
Griffith collapsed on Hawaiian Airlines Flight 50 from Honolulu to Kennedy Airport on Thursday night, prompting an emergency landing in San Francisco, the company said in a statement.
“We are forever grateful for Emile’s colleagues and good Samaritans on board who stayed by his side and provided extensive medical help,” Ann Botticelli, a spokeswoman for the airline, said in a statement.
“Emile both loved and treasured his job at Hawaiian and always shared that with our guests. Our hearts are with Emile’s family, friends and all those fortunate to have known him.”
The flight took off from Honolulu soon after 4 p.m. on Thursday and made the emergency landing in San Francisco at about 11 p.m. It was carrying over 250 passengers and 12 crew members.
Passengers were distraught, and one New Yorker onboard the plane shared updates on the situation.
“Flight from Honolulu to JFK diverted to SFO for a passenger needing medical attention. It’s been a long time since they asked for doctors to come to first class so I hope they’re okay,” passenger Andrea Bartz wrote.
“First time I’ve ever had a flight diverted, somehow. Waiting for medics to board now.”