Thursday 8 December 2016

'It's something I never normally do' - airport worker's devastation at helping delayed family-of-five make EgyptAir plane

Henry Samuel

Published 20/05/2016 | 02:30

Video grab taken from ITV News of Alastair Osman, the brother of Briton Richard Osman who was on the Egyptian plane which crashed with 66 people on board. Picture: Press Association
Video grab taken from ITV News of Alastair Osman, the brother of Briton Richard Osman who was on the Egyptian plane which crashed with 66 people on board. Picture: Press Association

An airport employee at Roissy Charles de Gaulle is reportedly "devastated" after helping a family with five children to try to catch the fateful EgyptAir flight after they arrived late, according to French media reports.

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Sonia, as the staff member has been called, was still unsure whether the family made or missed the flight.

"It was a family, parents with five children: four girls and a boy," she told RTL radio.

"They turned up at Terminal 2, where I work. But EgyptAir operates from Terminal 1, so I showed them how to get there," said the employee.

"The father was starting to get stressed because he could see the time and that they had been mistakenly dropped off at Terminal 2 by the taxi. I could see the dad was stressed so I said: 'Don't worry, I'll try and call the company to see if they can exceptionally wait for you'. That's something I never normally do."

She put in a call and told them to hurry to Terminal 1, but didn't follow up to see what happened next.

The EgyptAir plane making the following flight from Paris to Cairo, after flight MS804 disappeared from radar, takes off from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France, May 19, 2016
The EgyptAir plane making the following flight from Paris to Cairo, after flight MS804 disappeared from radar, takes off from Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris, France, May 19, 2016

"And so they left. I hope they didn't make it. One of the girls even said to her father: 'Listen dad, if we make it, we make it and if we don't, we'll just take the next one. That's all there is to it.'

"I understood as I'm of North African origin. I keep playing yesterday's scene over, and I'm in shock."

The airline said two babies and one child were on board Flight MS804, suggesting that the family may have missed the flight after all and either taken a later one or stayed put in Paris.

Meanwhile, a British victim of the crash – Welsh-born geologist Richard Osman (40) – is believed to have just become a father for the second time.

Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy speaks, after EgyptAir plane vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo, during a news conference at headquarters of ministry in Cairo, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany
Egypt's Civil Aviation Minister Sherif Fathy speaks, after EgyptAir plane vanished from radar en route from Paris to Cairo, during a news conference at headquarters of ministry in Cairo, Egypt May 19, 2016. REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany

He was said to have been “deliriously happy” at the birth of his daughter,

Olympe. Born at the end of April, she was Mr Osman’s second child with his 36-year-old French-born wife Aurelie. The family lived together in Jersey.

Described by his family as a “workaholic”, Mr Osman’s job for a gold mining company regularly took him to Cairo and other international destinations.

His brother Alastair Osman said: “Richard was so happy at the birth of his second daughter, and yet two weeks later he is no longer with us – it’s an absolute tragedy.

“He was looking forward to enjoying a lovely family life with his two girls.”

Speaking to ITV he described Mr Osman as “a very kind, loving person”.

Irish Independent

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