Father wrongly told of flight death

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A stunned father was told a member of his family had died on a long-distance flight - but the airline got the wrong person.

Chris Miller of Whitley Bay, Tyneside, was told a flight carrying his partner and children had landed in India because another passenger was ill.

He also learnt his children had been taken for treatment for chicken pox.

But when the other passenger, Penwortham man Michael Edgeley, died, Emirates contacted Mr Miller in error.

The airline said its staff had been distressed by the exceptional events.

Mr Miller said he had received a call from someone saying: "I have a couple of numbers for you, the first number is the undertakers dealing with the body".

Mr Miller told the BBC: "At that point I believed one of my family was dead. I said, 'What happened, what's going on?' but they put the phone down on me.

"I ended up sitting in a state of utter disbelief and shock, my whole life was falling apart.

"Then after 10 seconds they rang again to say it was a mistake."

In a statement Emirates said: "We have sincerely apologised to Mr Miller for his upsetting experience.

"There were exceptional circumstances surrounding the flight from Melbourne which involved a young man being taken seriously ill on board and dying in tragic circumstances.

"It was a distressing period for both our staff and passengers."

Mr Edgeley, 22, from Penwortham, was given emergency oxygen treatment by cabin crew but died in the ambulance.

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