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Jet blast at St. Maarten's airport kills tourist

14 Julio 2017

Tragedy struck at the Caribbean island of St Maarten, when a woman from New Zealand died while watching a plane take off as a result of a jet engine blast. Although this marks the first fatality at the spot, in 2014 a woman was seriously injured when she let go of the same fence and tumbled head first into a retaining wall.

Police said that the jet's blast was so influential that it knocked her down, and later the woman died.

The tiny beach lies next to the Princess Juliana International Airport, separated only by concrete, a road and a chain link fence.

St Maarten Tourist Bureau director of tourism Rolando Brison said further measures were being discussed "to ensure that this isolated incident remains the sole of its kind on the island".

As you can see in the following video, holding on to a fence whilst planes take off is something that other tourists have done and many continue to do.

Airport authorities have posted signs warning the public not to hang on the fence separating the beach on the Dutch side of the Caribbean island from the airport.

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"What happened is really sad".

Most visitors watch the jets taking off and landing for the sheer joy of being sandblast by high-bypass turbofans, which has proven to be fairly safe. The woman's family were visited and notified about her passing.

Danger signs are clearly visible at various locations of the beach highlighting the obvious risk of standing near to the runway.

A sign is attached to the gate to warn people to keep their distances from the area.

1943, since the opening of the Princess Juliana International Airport, it has always been a tourist attraction. It's publically accessible land and because of the lack of space, there aren't any physical alterations that could be made in the future to remove the ability for people to stand close by.