Deportee asked for help on flight before dying, witness says

originally by: The Guardian
published: 15th October 2010

An asylum seeker who was being deported on a flight from Heathrow begged passengers to help him moments before he collapsed and died beneath three security guards, according to a new witness who has spoken to the Guardian.

The witness – the third to come forward in the last 24 hours – raised questions over how quickly Jimmy Mubenga was given medical assistance after he lost consciousness on the flight to Angola. He said he was haunted by Mubenga’s pleas for help.

“For the rest of the my life I’m always going to have that at the back of my mind – could I have done something? That is going to bother me every time I go to sleep,” the witness, an oil worker who gave his name as Michael, said.

“I didn’t get involved because I was scared I would get kicked off the flight and lose my job. But that man paid a higher price than I would have.”

The 51-year-old US citizen contacted a Guardian reporter via Twitter today after reading what he believed to be misleading accounts of Mubenga’s death released by the Home Office and G4S, a private security firm the government has contracted to escort deportees.

Read full article >