A man who died on an Air Canada flight bound for Australia has been identified as a father of three young children.
Passenger Christopher Woodgate, 38, was pronounced dead after the Brisbane-bound flight was diverted to Honolulu on Saturday, said Kira Paiva-Kimura, an administrative services officer for the Honolulu medical examiner's office.
His wife, Tanya Woodgate, took to Facebook on Sunday to deliver the heartbreaking news to friends and family.
“It is with complete heartbreak which I write this tragic news. Chris passed away suddenly on our flight home from Canada yesterday.
“We are all in a state of disbelief and shock. I have lost a wonderful husband and Liam, Callum and Mia have lost their amazing dad. Our world will never be the same.
“Our flight was diverted to Honolulu and I am working to bring him home as soon as we can. I will post details of when a memorial will be held for him.
“Thank you for your support and respect of our privacy at this difficult time,” she said.
The man had been sick prior to the flight, Jessica Lani Rich of the Visitor Aloha Society of Hawaii, a nonprofit that assists visitors in distress, told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
An autopsy will be conducted.
The man was travelling with children, his wife and another family member, Rich said. Her organisation also hired a nurse to care overnight for an 11-year-old passenger travelling alone.
There were 257 passengers and 13 crew members on the flight. The airline provided passengers with hotel and food vouchers. The passengers left Honolulu on Sunday on a different flight, Fitzpatrick said.
Friends and family members shared their shock over Mr Woodgate’s sudden death online.
“Tanya, so sorry at this awful and tragic news. Sending you much love at this truly difficult time,” one woman said.
“Tanya, I am so absolutely devastated for you. I am so sorry for your loss. Sending you lots of love,” another woman wrote.
“We are in shock. You and the kids have been in our thoughts since we heard this terrible news. Much love,” a man said.
“We’re all so heartbroken to have lost one of the most incredible men we’ve ever known,” a fourth person said.
- with AAP
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