- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 13, 2017

A woman has died after sustaining head injuries when she was knocked over from the jet-engine exhaust of a landing airplane in St. Maarten, the BBC reported Thursday.

The 57-year-old New Zealand woman had been holding on to a perimeter fence outside the Princess Julianna International Airport when the force of a departing airplane threw her to the ground, authorities said, the BBC reported. 

Warning signs in the area caution beachgoers to stay clear of the airport fence to avoid serious injury, the BBC noted, and Sint Maarten police took this tragic occasion to warn tourists again of the dangers.

A search of YouTube turns up numerous videos of curious spectators standing on or close to the Princess Julianna airport fence in order to feel the force of a departing jet plane’s engines at full blast. Beachgoers also regularly revel at low-flying arrivals flying directly over Maho Beach.

“The landing and taking off of all types and size of aircrafts at the international airport of Sint Maarten is well known world wide as major tourist attraction,” police said in a statement.

“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. Doing this is, however, extremely dangerous.”


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