A man died from a heart attack at JFK early Saturday after not one, but two, sets of paramedics were delayed by inoperative security badges at the newly renovated, $1.4 billion Terminal 4, the Post reports.
50-year-old Gunseye Adekunle was preparing to board an Arik Air flight to Nigeria when he went into cardiac arrest. A Port Authority police emergency operator got the call around 6:30 a.m. and was told Adekunle was “unresponsive” but breathing. A Port Authority ambulance was immediately dispatched, but the crew was unable to enter the terminal from the street "because an officer's security card wasn't working," the tabloid reports.
Though the EMTs quickly found an alternate entrance, the snafu nevertheless cost the crew—and Adekunle—two minutes, a not insignificant amount of time when treating a heart attack. The fire department was slated to take over, but ran into similar problems when the Port Authority officer escorting the team was also denied entry by the terminal's security system, which refused to recognize his access card, too.
Finally, Adekunle was transported from the terminal to the FDNY ambulance—no security cards are necessary to exit the airport—and brought to Jamaica Hospital, where he was declared dead. A Port Authority spokesperson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Construction for Terminal 4 began in 2010, and opened to the public in May. Among its amenities, the terminal boasts "a consolidated security check point," and "more efficient screening." According to JFK's website, Terminal 4 "is one of the most modern, efficient, spacious and unique terminals in the New York area," and a "successful paradigm for air terminal management."
Update, 4 p.m.: A spokesperson from Port Authority said that technically, there was no delay when it came to administering aid to Adekunle, since a customs official present for the incident began performing CPR immediately after the heart attack occurred.
The spokesperson added that the incident is under investigation. As of now, no changes have been made to the security doors or to Port Authority personnel's badges.