Body of Female Passenger Found in Delta Air Lines Bathroom

Flight attendants discovered the body of a 61-year-old woman in the restroom of a plane shortly before the flight landed in Atlanta Wednesday morning, a spokeswoman for the airline said.

It was unclear how the woman died, and how long she was in the restroom.

The crew on the Los Angeles-to-Atlanta flight noticed the restroom was occupied on final approach, just before Flight 950 touched down at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport at 5:51 a.m., spokeswoman Keyra Johnson said. Atlanta police were notified and met the plane at the gate, Johnson said.

"Delta extends its condolences to the family and commends our flight crew and medical professionals onboard who handled this incident with the utmost professionalism and respect for which they are known," spokeswoman Betsy Talton wrote in an e-mail.

The body was taken to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab in suburban Atlanta for an autopsy scheduled for Thursday, said GBI spokesman John Bankhead. Authorities were awaiting the results to determine the cause of death, Bankhead said.

The woman's name has not been released.

Atlanta police stationed at the airport respond to calls about dead bodies on airplanes a couple of times a year, said Officer Eric Schwartz, a police spokesman. Talton said the situation was rare, but flight crews are trained to handle "a number of situations on board."

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