An Etihad plane at JFK International Airport in New York. Lucas Jackson/Reuters
An Etihad plane at JFK International Airport in New York. Lucas Jackson/Reuters
  • Flight EY474 from Abu Dhabi to Jakarta diverted for a medical emergency.
  • Cleaners later found a dead newborn hidden in a drawer.
  • A 37-year-old woman, who was returning home after four years’ domestic work in Abu Dhabi, was arrested whens he got back to Indonesia.

A newborn baby was found dead on an airplane over the weekend, wrapped in a plastic bag of the plane’s toilet.

Cleaners made the gruesome discovery in a drawer inside the toilet of an Etihad plane on Saturday night after it landed at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Agence France-Presse reported.

Police have arrested a 37-year-old Indonesian woman, identified only as Hani, who they suspect secretly gave birth on the flight, service EY474.

Hani had worked as a domestic helper in Abu Dhabi for the past four years, and has a husband and children in Cianjur, Indonesia.

According to Indonesian newspaper The Jakarta Post, Hani said the child was a result of a relationship with her employer in Abu Dhabi.

The woman began bleeding halfway through the flight, according to AFP, and the Airbus A330 she was travelling on had to divert at Bangkok so a medical team could evacuate her.

5a533615c32ae6df1a8b4c0b A newborn baby has been found dead and wrapped in a plastic bag on a plane to Indonesia
Map roughly showing the Etihad flight’s route. Google Maps/Business Insider

Passenger Francesco Calore told AFP: “The woman was in economy class but then [the airline] laid on a business-class seat with an oxygen mask. The captain then announced we should divert to Bangkok.”

It wasn’t clear whether anybody on board the plane was aware that Hani was pregnant, or indeed had given birth.

Etihad’s guidelines say that expectant mothers need a medical certificate to fly in the last ten weeks of their pregnancy, and should not fly at all in the final four.

Hani returned to Indonesia early Sunday morning, the day after her original flight had arrived. She was arrested at Jakarta Airport.

Ahmad Yusef, Jakarta’s police chief, told AFP that the migrant worker “didn’t look healthy.”

The cause of the baby’s death remains unknown.

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