A passenger on board a transatlantic jet that diverted to Shannon this evening has died.

A second passenger is recovering in hospital. Both are believed to have suffered heart attacks.

Alitalia flight AZ-610 was about 100km west of Co Clare when the crew declared an emergency and diverted to Shannon.

The flight was travelling from Rome to New York at the time.

Ambulance paramedics and a doctor were standing by for the flight when it touched down around 5.40pm.

One of the passengers, a man in his 70s, was pronounced dead at the scene.

A second person was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment and is reported to be in a stable condition.