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Canadian man dies in Cuba while waiting for Air Transat flight on stranded island

A Canadian man has passed away in Cuba while waiting to leave an island where passengers have been stranded.

On Feb. 16, the airport on Cayo Large del Sur had to close because of a damaged runway, which disrupted the plans of many Canadians who were scheduled to return home that same day.

The airport is not expected to reopen until Feb. 26.

Passengers were finally getting ready to leave Cayo Large del Sur on Feb. 19, to instead take an Air Transat flight out of Cuba at Havana’s airport. But while waiting for a ferry to bring them back to Cuba’s mainland, a Canadian man suddenly dropped to the floor without a pulse.

“People started screaming. It was chaos,” said Ontario resident Chantalle Menchions in an interview with CTV News Toronto. People tried to perform CPR on the man, but they were not able to resuscitate him. A medical team arrived 15 minutes later, Menchions said.

“This delay in returning to Canada is the result of a situation beyond our control, and we regret any inconvenience that has resulted, but I can assure you our teams worked tirelessly in collaboration with Cuban authorities to safely bring our passengers home,” an Air Transat representative said.

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