A Nigerian deportee died at Zurich airport after collapsing in handcuffs as he was being placed onto a special flight for expelled criminals or failed asylum seekers, Swiss police said Thursday. The man had been arrested for drug dealing, said Zurich police in a statement, and was meant to have been sent back to Nigeria on the flight with 15 other people.
“The 29-year-old, whose asylum application was not accepted by the Federal Migration Office, had refused food for several days, and was trying to resist arrest. He could only be handcuffed with use of force,” said the statement.
“Shortly after, he suddenly showed health problems,” the police added, saying that the accompanying officials had unlocked his handcuffs and tried to resuscitate him.
However, the man died shortly after.
Local police added that investigations are ongoing into the cause and circumstances of his death.
The Federal Migration Office said in a statement that it “deplored this tragic incident” and that it was suspending special flights while a probe was taking place.