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United Flight Diverted After Pilot Suffers Fatal Heart Attack

Justin Sullivan/Getty Images (file photo)(BOISE, Idaho) -- A United Airlines flight from Houston to Seattle was diverted after its captain reportedly suffered a fatal heart attack during the flight.  The flight was rerouted to the Boise Airport in Idaho and landed there at 8 p.m. Thursday.

Patti Miller, a Boise Airport spokeswoman, confirmed to ABC News that United Airlines Flight 1603 made an emergency landing at the airport Thursday evening.  Miller says the captain of the flight experienced a medical emergency, which was an apparent heart attack.

ABC News' Seattle affiliate, KOMO-TV, reported that a passenger on the flight said a crew member made an in-flight announcement on the loudspeaker asking if anyone on board was a physician.

“We got a man down, chest compressions going on right now.  I’m not sure too much right now the status,” a United crew member said in a recorded conversation with air traffic control.  “Can an ambulance and maybe some air stairs meet us on the runway?”

“The Boeing 737 landed safely, and paramedics met the plane upon arrival and transported the crew member to the hospital,” United Airlines said in a statement.

United would not comment on the pilot’s condition.  A spokesperson from Saint Alphonsus Hospital, where the captain was taken, confirmed to ABC News that the pilot died.

There were 161 passengers and six crew members on board Flight 1603 Thursday night. Crew members and passengers departed Boise Airport for Seattle just before midnight.

The family has been notified of the pilot’s death. The pilot’s name has not been disclosed.

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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