His Odor Grounded a Plane. A Month Later, He Died

It turns out Andrey Suchilin was suffering from necrosis, which was causing the smell
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 28, 2018 8:51 AM CDT
His Odor Grounded a Plane. A Month Later, He Died
Passengers leave a Transavia plane at Rotterdam's airport in the Netherlands on Aug. 26, 2008, in an unrelated incident.   (AP Photo/Rob Keeris)

A story that began embarrassingly has ended tragically. People reports on the death of 58-year-old Andrey Suchilin, a Russian guitarist who spurred an emergency landing of a Transavia Airlines plane in Portugal. Per De Telegraaf via WJW, Suchilin's odor during the May 29 flight from Spain to the Netherlands was said to be so noxious other passengers began vomiting and fainting. Crew members moved Suchilin to the plane's bathroom and tried to mask the smell with air freshener, but the pilots eventually decided it would be best to land. Now, however, it's revealed the reason Suchilin caused such a stink was because his body tissues were dying due to necrosis after he apparently got a "beach infection" while vacationing in Spain. "The tragic and comic component of this whole situation is that I caught a disease, which ... makes a man quite stinky," he wrote May 30 on his Facebook page.

The progression of Suchilin's ailment can be seen in increasingly dire status updates, many posted by his wife, Lidia Tikhonovich. Newsweek notes Suchilin underwent several surgeries to stop the infection, but he eventually fell into a coma. Tikhonovich's updates culminate in one posted Monday: "Andrei's gone. Alas." Tikhonovich says their insurance company refused to pay for his medical care, saying their insurance had expired, and that they spent too much time fighting with the company after getting off the plane, hours Suchilin could've spent getting treatment to save his life. In a statement to Newsweek, Transavia assures other passengers and workers on the same flight as Suchilin that "there has been no risk of infection." (An Indianapolis office worker tried to combat a colleague's body odor.)

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