Apr 12, 2012
Viral Video Causes Blowback for St. Maarten Airport- by Bill Chapin
A viral video showing a woman on St. Maarten’s Maho Beach being blown back by jet propulsion has prompted officials to re-evaluate safety precautions at Princess Juliana International Airport. The airport’s notoriously short runway means that planes must take off and land in close proximity to the beach, which is separated from the runway by a guardrail and fencing. The video, which has racked up more than 4.2 million views since being posted to YouTube on Friday, shows several people running up to the fence as a JetBlue airliner prepares for takeoff.
The Internet is rife with footage of similar stunts on Maho Beach. This one is notable not just because of its sudden popularity but because it evidently shows people being injured. Two teenage French tourists were taken to the hospital after the video was shot; a male suffered a broken leg and a woman suffered a deep cut to her head. Signs already warn beachgoers about low-flying planes and dangerous jet blasts. Officials did not say what other precautions they were considering. huffingtonpost.com