THIS was the horrific moment a woman lost part of her leg after getting it mangled in a travelator.
The Thai passenger, 57, was due to board on a 8.30am flight from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport when she tripped over her pink suitcase.
She fell over and her leg was wedged into the walkway, ripping through her muscle, tendon, and bone.
Other passengers fumbled to turn off the emergency switch as the travelator continued tearing through her flesh.
Pictures showed the lower part of the woman’s leg trapped beneath the belt at the end of the walkway as she was being assisted by airport staff.
The suitcase lying near her was missing two wheels, and the yellow comb-like plates were seen broken off from where they typically cover the end of the moving walkway.
A medical team eventually had to cut the woman’s left leg off from above the knee, according to airport officials.
She was then taken to Bhumibol Adulyadej Hospital in the capital for emergency treatment.
The medical team at the hospital said she was initially sent to Karun where she was told that they could not reattach her leg, but the woman requested to be transferred to another hospital to assess the possibility.
Airport authorities have ordered a probe to determine the cause of the accident.
In the meantime, the walkway has been temporarily closed as an engineering team conducts an inspection and security checks.
A statement from Don Mueang 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.”
There were no flights delayed due to the accident.
“On behalf of the Don Mueang International Airport, I’d like to express my deepest condolences regarding the accident,” airport director Karun Thanakuljeerapat said during a news conference.
“I’d like to insist that we will ensure that no such accident will happen again.”
Karun said the suitcase wheels were found underneath the belt, but it was unclear how that might relate to the accident.
He added that walkways at the airport are checked daily, with an additional monthly inspection.
The travelator was manufactured by Japanese company Hitachi and was installed in 1996, the airport director said, adding that there is a plan to request for a budget to change to a newer model in 2025.
In 2019, a passenger’s shoe was damaged after it was caught in another walkway in the same airport, which was repaired and reopened an hour later.