Horrified son of woman whose leg was crushed in Bangkok airport travelator describes seeing officers carrying her amputated limb off in a foam box 


Horrified son of woman whose leg was crushed in Bangkok airport travelator describes seeing officers carrying her amputated limb off in a foam box 

The son of a woman whose leg was mangled by a moving walkway at a Bangkok airport has described his horror of seeing her amputated limb in a foam box. 

The 57-year-old Thai passenger was due to board a flight from Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport to the southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province this morning in the airport’s Terminal 2.

But in a freak accident, she tripped over her pink suitcase before her left leg was dragged into the mechanism at the end of the travelator. The airport’s 20 travelators all remain closed today.

Describing the ‘heart-wrenching’ incident, her son Kittirat said: ‘The officers were holding a foam box containing her leg as they were getting out of the ambulance.

‘It was separate from my mother sitting on the wheelchair. It’s a feeling I can’t really explain.’

Surgeons at the city’s Bumrungrad International Hospital have reattached the limb but say she is unlikely to ever be able to recover the use of her left leg.

Her family is now consulting doctors before deciding how to proceed with surgery.

Her son continued: ‘My mother’s morale is at a worrisome level. We had the opportunity to talk to her a little before and after the surgery as she was still staying in a clean room.

‘She showed strength in both her facial expressions and tone, but we knew deep down in her heart that she was broken because she suddenly lost her leg.

‘What I have to admit that my family’s biggest concern at this time is my mother’s state of mind and my mother’s long-term condition.

‘We know that we can’t get my mother’s legs back on track, or even get her life back on track.

‘The family has asked the doctor to consider arranging a psychologist team to help treat my mother process what’s happening.

‘My mother cried, not because of the pain, but because she couldn’t imagine life with one leg.

‘The family is still praying for my mum’s surgery. We hope there are no signs of infection, and that it would be her last operation.’

Her family are now demanding that the airport releases CCTV of the freak accident.

Kittirat said: ‘We avoid talking about the incident at Don Mueang Airport with her as much as possible and leave it to the airport stakeholders to investigate the cause. The family hopes the probe will be transparent and fair.’

Sources said the force of her fall caused her leg to plunge through the end of the mechanical walkway.

She screamed in horror as her foot became stuck in the metal gap while the machinery churned through her muscle, tendons and bones.

Onlookers fumbled to turn off the emergency switch as the machine continued tearing through her flesh – spewing blood onto the metal tracks.

Paramedics amputated her leg on-site at the airport in order to free her from the travelator before she was carried out on a stretcher – with her foot in a foam box loaded into the ambulance.

Karan Tanakuljirapat, director of the Don Mueang Airport, has ordered a probe to determine the cause of the accident.

A suitcase lying near her was missing two wheels, and the yellow comb-like plates were seen broken off from where they typically cover the edge of the belt where the moving walkway ends.

In a statement, the airport said: ‘The director of Don Mueang Airport and management has visited the patient to follow up on the treatment and received information from the medical team at Bhumibol Hospital that she is currently in the process of receiving treatment from the medical team.

‘Don Mueang Airport is deeply saddened by the incident and ready to fully accept the responsibility as well as take care of the medical expenses and compensation.’