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A prominent German politician has died in Limerick after falling ill on a flight which diverted to Shannon Airport.

Karin Strenz (53) was a member of the Christian Democratic Union of Germany (CDU) party, the same party as Angela Merkel. Strenz became a member of the Bundestag after the 2009 German federal election and was a member of the defence committee.

She was born in the town of Lübz in the state of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern in Germany’s northeast. Before her election to the Bundestag, Karin served for 7 years in the Mecklenburg-Vorpommern state Government.

It is understood that she was travelling with her husband on Condor flight DE-199 from Cuba to Germany when she suddenly fell ill and the crew declared a medical emergency while the flight was still west of Ireland. They requested clearance to divert to Shannon Airport, asking that emergency medical services be on standby for their arrival.

The Boeing 767-300 jet landed safely in Shannon at 7.36am and was met at the terminal by airport personnel, paramedics and Gardaí. Ms Strenz was treated at the airport before being rushed by ambulance to University Hospital Limerick where she later died.

A post-mortem examination is expected to be carried out while a coroner’s inquest will be held at a later date. The flight later continued to Frankfurt.

“Gardaí and Emergency services were alerted to a medical emergency onboard a flight which landed at Shannon Airport, county Clare on 21st March at approximately 7.30am. A woman (50s) was taken to University Hospital Limerick from the aircraft. The woman was pronounced deceased a short time later. Arrangements have been made for a post-mortem to take place,” a spokesperson for An Garda Síochána outlined.

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