ST. MAARTEN — Vacationers flock to St. Maarten’s Maho Beach as much to see huge aircraft flying overhead as for surf and sand. Yesterday tragedy struck when a 57-year old tourist visiting Maho Beach was killed when she was blown backwards by the blast of a jet engine and knocked with such force into a concrete block that she later died from head injuries.
Located right next to Princess Juliana International Airport, Maho Beach is well-known for surreal scenes of sunbathers lounging on the sand as jumbo jet aircraft get set for landings just above the shoreline.
Yesterday’s accident happened around 6 p.m. as the woman, visiting from New Zealand, stood by the fence that separates the beach from the runway. Large planes have to give their jet engines full gas so they can get up to speed and get off the ground from the airport’s short runway. Signs on the fence warn that these jet blasts are strong enough to knock people over.