On Thursday June 29th, a woman had to have her leg amputated at Bangkok’s airport after she got caught in a moving walkway. The 57-year old Thai passenger was about to board a morning flight from Bangkok’s Don Mueang airport bound for the southern province of Nakhon Si Thammarat when she got caught up in a moving walkway at the airport’s Terminal 2. A medical team had to cut off her left leg above the knee, airport officials said.
“On behalf of Don Mueang International Airport, I would like to express my deepest condolences for the accident,” Karant Thanakuljeerapat, airport director, said at a press conference. “I would like to stress that we will make sure that such an accident will not happen again.” The woman was transferred to Bumrungrad International Hospital, one of the country’s top medical facilities. The director said the airport will fully cover the woman’s medical expenses and will be open to negotiating other compensation.
Deep down we know that her heart is broken since she suddenly lost her leg.Krit Kittirattana, passenger’s son
Thanakuljeerapat said the suitcase wheels were found under the belt, but it was unclear what relation they might have to the accident. According to the airport, the moving walkways are checked daily and additional monthly inspections are conducted. He assured that the walkway has been closed and was being inspected by a team of engineers to determine the cause of the accident.
The medical team at the hospital to which she was sent initially indicated that they could not reattach her leg, but the woman asked to be transferred to another hospital to assess the possibility.
Images shared online showed the woman’s lower leg trapped at the end of the walkway as she was being assisted by airport staff. A suitcase missing two wheel was lying next to her. The plates that cover the edge of the belt where the moving walkway ends had broken off.
Krit Kittirattana, the woman’s son, wrote a message on Facebook in which he described the accident as “heartbreaking”, as quoted by CNN. He said his mother had undergone surgery but that she still faced risks of potential complications. “My mother has continued to express her strength through her face and voice. But deep down we know that her heart is broken since she suddenly lost her leg,” he wrote, adding that the family has requested surveillance camera footage of the accident.
The walkway was manufactured by Japanese company Hitachi and installed in 1996, the airport director said, adding that it is planned to request budget to change to a newer model in 2025.