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Flight bound for Italy diverts to Shannon with ill passenger

A transatlantic flight was forced to divert to Shannon Airport this morning after the crew declared a medical emergency.

American Airlines flight AA-714 was travelling from Philadelphia in the US to Venice, Italy when the crew opted to divert to the Midwest airport.

The Airbus A330-200 jet was about 250 kilometres southwest of Ireland at around 6.15am when the crew sought clearance to deviate from their assigned course and reroute to Shannon.

The crew reported they had an ill male passenger who required medical assistance and requested that an ambulance be waiting for their arrival.

The flight landed safely at 7.00am and was met at the terminal by airport authorities and National Ambulance Service paramedics.

The passenger was assessed at the airport before being removed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

The flight continued to Venice at 9.03am.

Of the 130 aircraft diversions to Shannon Airport last year, 16 were medical emergencies, 2 of which involved crew members.

So far this year, the airport has dealt with about 30 unscheduled landings 6 of which were medical diversions.

In one sad incident in February, an elderly passenger passed away before her flight landed despite the best efforts of crew members to resuscitate her.