THE SON of a woman whose leg was mangled in an airport travelator has described his horror of seeing his mum’s foot in a foam box.
The unnamed Thai passenger, 57, screamed in horror as her foot became stuck in the metal gap while the machinery churned through her muscle, tendons and bones.
The passenger’s leg got trapped in the travelatorCredit: ViralPress
All 20 travelators at the airport are now closedCredit: ViralPress
The woman tripped over her own luggage on the moving walkway in BangkokCredit: ViralPress
In a sickening freak accident, she tripped over her pink suitcase when heading to the gate at Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport on Thursday.
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.
The limb was then put in a foam box and loaded into the ambulance.
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.
The woman’s family is now consulting doctors before deciding how to proceed with surgery.
Worried for his mum’s mental state after the “heart-wrenching” accident, son Kittirat said: “I felt like a child especially when I first met my mother after the incident.
“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.
“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.
He continued: “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.
“Therefore, 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.
“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.”
Kittirat slammed Don Mueang International Airport for allegedly refusing to hand over CCTV of the accident.
Airport director Karan Tanakuljirapat has ordered a probe to determine the cause of the accident.
All 20 of the automatic walkways are closed today and the airport boss said the machines are checked daily, with an additional monthly inspection.
A statement from the airport read: “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.”
Other airports around the country are also checking their devices amid fears of further accidents.
Don Mueang International Airport (DMK) opened in 1914 but was replaced as the country’s main airport in 2014 by the new Suvarnabhumi International Airport (BKK) on the outskirts of Bangkok.
State-owned Airports of Thailand (AOT) owns the facility and the company is reportedly “the most-valuable airport operator in the world” due to the country’s popularity as a tourism destination and its rapidly growing domestic economy.
However, walking around the airport’s arrivals and departure areas, the building appears to be stuck in a 1970s time warp, with little reinvestment, renovation, or upgrades – despite receiving vast sums each year from fees charged to airlines and tourism receipts, Newsflare reports.
The travelator was manufactured by Japanese firm Hitachi and was installed in 1996, the airport director said, adding that there is a plan to change to a newer model in 2025.
In 2019, a passenger’s rubber shoe was damaged after it was caught in another walkway in the same airport, which was repaired and reopened an hour later.
The travelator was sealed off after Thursday’s accidentCredit: ViralPress
Airport bosses visited the female passenger at the hospitalCredit: ViralPress
In 2019, a passenger’s shoe (pictured) got trapped in a walkway in the same airportCredit: ViralPress
Paramedics amputated the leg on-site before taking the woman to hospitalCredit: ViralPress