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Delta flight diverted to Sacramento after passenger dies on plane

The passenger became unresponsive Thursday on a flight headed to Seattle, officials said.
Image: Sacramento Airport, Sacramento, Calif.
Sacramento Airport, Sacramento, Calif.Carol Highsmith / Getty Images file

A Delta Air Lines flight was diverted to Sacramento on Thursday evening after a passenger died on the plane.

Flight 1837 was headed from the Mexican resort town of Cabo to Seattle when there was an emergency passenger situation, a Delta Air Lines spokesperson told NBC News in a statement Friday. The flight diverted to Sacramento International Airport where emergency personnel treated the passenger.

The Sacramento County Coroner's Office identified the passenger as Derik Howard, 53, of Seattle. The cause of death was unclear pending an autopsy by the coroner's office.

"The Coroner has to perform an autopsy to determine the cause of death, which will more than likely take some time to determine as the pathologist usually orders testing and will have to wait on those results," the office said in a statement.

The flight resumed with the remaining passengers and arrived in Seattle shortly after 9 p.m. local time, about two hours behind schedule, Delta Air Lines said.

No other details were immediately available.

The Federal Aviation Administration and Sacramento International Airport did not immediately respond to requests for comment Friday.