A woman has died after being blown by the jet blast from an airplane in Sint Maarten. The Caribbean island is known for its Maho Beach, which is at the end of a runway at the Princess Juliana International Airport.
“It’s just tragic to see that happen,” an official with the airport told The Star. She added that the airplane was taking off from the airport.
According to media reports, the 57-year-old New Zealander killed Wednesday had been holding on to a fence when she was thrown back by the force from a jet engine. She later died at a hospital.
YouTube videos show tourists on the nearby beach clinging to a fence near the airport as the force from jet engines blows against them.
“The airport has warning signs everywhere,” the official said. “But it’s an attraction. I don’t know why.”
The BBC reports that local police said in a release that tourists are discouraged from clinging to the runway fence.
“Many tourists come to the island to experience the thrills of the landing of approaching aircrafts flying low above their heads and the holding on to the airport fence and standing in the jet blast of large aircraft taking off,” Sint Maarten police said, according to the BBC. “Doing this is, however, extremely dangerous."