Airline captain dies after suffering in-flight heart attack

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(CNN) — A Boise, Idaho, airport tower recording surfaced Friday that offered details of the crisis aboard a United Airlines 737 after its captain suffered a heart attack. The captain, whose name has not been released, died at a hospital after Flight 1603 made an emergency landing.

“We got a man down, chest compressions going on right now,” said an unidentified crew member on an air traffic control radio frequency. “I’m not sure too much right now on status.”

The flight crew coordinated with air traffic controllers about how the plane would meet up with first responders at the airfield.

“I’ll just stop on the runway, and get on the other side of the aircraft and taxi off the runway, and then ambulance and maybe some air care needed off the runway,” the flight crew member said on the recording.

The captain suffered a heart attack Thursday night, United said, while the airliner was en route from Houston to Seattle, prompting the aircraft to divert to Boise at 8 p.m. MT (10 p.m. ET). It wasn’t immediately known if the captain was piloting the plane at the time he became incapacitated.

Shortly after the emergency, crew members asked passengers over the cabin loudspeaker if anyone was a doctor, CNN affiliate KOMO reported, quoting a passenger.

When the plane landed, paramedics boarded and rushed the pilot to Saint Alphonsus hospital, where he later died, hospital spokeswoman Jennifer Krajnik said.

Flight 1603’s passengers waited at the Boise airport until United flew in another pilot from San Francisco, before they were able to continue their journey to Seattle.

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