A 57-year-old New Zealand woman was killed on a St. Maarten beach, Maho Beach, that’s internationally known for its views of low-flying airplanes, according to the NY Daily News. The woman was knocked off her feet by a plane’s force, which sent her to the ground and caused her to hit her head.
The woman was a part of a group of tourists that stood near a fence that separated the runway from a narrow road and the beach. The famous Princess Juliana International Airport sits near the beach.
Paramedics tried to revive the woman, but she was pronounced dead at Saint Maarten Medical Center.
“I met with the family of the deceased this evening and while they recognized that what they did was wrong, through the clearly visible danger signs, they regret that risk they took turned out in the worst possible way,” said the island's tourism director, Rolando Brison, according to the New Zealand Herald.
There are signs warning people not to be near the fence: “Do not stand. Danger. Jet Blast.” Additionally, police reportedly regularly patrol the area to stop tourists from coming too close.
This is the first time someone has died as a result of a jet blast on the beach, but people have been tossed by blasts and injured before. You can read the police report following the woman’s death here.