Page last updated at 12:19 GMT, Thursday, 1 January 2009

Baby girl born on US-bound flight

Northwest Airlines plane
Sasha became unexpected passenger number 125 en route to Boston

A Ugandan woman has given birth to a baby girl on board an international flight from Amsterdam to Boston after going into labour mid-flight.

The six-pound (2.7kg) baby named Sasha was delivered on New Year's Eve with the help of two doctors on the eight-hour-long Northwest Airlines flight.

Mother and baby were taken to a Boston hospital on landing and are doing well.

Sasha was deemed a Canadian citizen for customs' purposes because she was born over Canada's airspace.

Canada's immigration ministry has not yet commented.

The rare trans-Atlantic birth was greeted with cheers and applause from passengers on board flight 59, reports said.

The excitement began some six hours into the flight, when the Ugandan woman who was eight months pregnant went into heavy labour.

Flight crew located two doctors on board the plane, and the woman gave birth to Sasha at 0900 Boston time (1400 GMT) - some 90 minutes before touch down.

"Everybody was there to help," Dr Natarajan Raman, who helped deliver the child, told the Boston Globe.

"People offered baby food, people brought things, people vacated their seats...The spirit of America is alive," he added.

The mother's identity - as well as her reasons for travelling so late into her pregnancy - were not clear. She was said to be travelling with a toddler and a friend.

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