A 10-year-old girl has died after a transatlantic jet that was diverted to Shannon Airport on Christmas Eve. The plane was an Air Canada flight from Toronto to London Heathrow.

As the plane reached the Irish coast, the captain asked for immediate permission to land at Shannon because of a seriously ill passenger.

He was just over the Mayo coastline when the call for help was made. He was immediately diverted to Shannon where a full medical emergency was called.

It is believed the ten-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest on the flight. An ambulance on the ground rushed her to Limerick University Hospital but she was pronounced dead soon after.

The airline said there were two doctors and a nurse on board to help the flight crew assist the girl.

It is understood she was flying with three adult siblings when she became ill. The Irish Mirror reports that the girl was Canadian and suffered from an underlying medical condition.

Said an airline spokesman: “We are deeply saddened by this situation and we are doing all we can to assist the family in these tragic circumstances.”

In a similar incident a day before, Star Wars actress Carrie Fisher had a cardiac arrest on board a flight to Los Angeles but survived.