Jet blast at St. Maarten's seaside airport kills tourist

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A New Zealand tourist was killed by the blast from a jetliner taking off at a seaside airport in the Dutch Caribbean territory of St. Maarten, officials said Thursday. (WLS)

A New Zealand tourist was killed by the blast from a jetliner taking off at a seaside airport in the Dutch Caribbean territory of St. Maarten, officials said Thursday.

The 57-year-old woman was knocked into a wall as she tried to cling to a fence to feel the engine blast Wednesday, police spokesman Ricardo Henson said. He said the woman was taken to the hospital, where she was declared dead.

Her name wasn't released.

Henson said hundreds of tourists regularly ignore multiple warning signs to not stand by the fence at the Princess Juliana International Airport, which is less than 200 feet (60 meters) from the beach in the tiny territory.

"Many people come just for the thrill of this main attraction, and unfortunately this time someone lost their life," he said.

Henson said dozens have been injured in recent years by jet blasts, but this was the first time someone died.

"It's very dangerous," he said. "It goes on all day, every day."

In 2012, a woman was injured after she was flung into a nearby concrete barrier by a jet blast.

In 2014, two pilots died after crashing into the water shortly after taking off from the airport.

CNN contributed to this report.

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