A disabled easyJet passenger died at Gatwick Airport after falling down the escalator
It has been claimed that the death of an unnamed man occurred after help failed to arrive immediately on board an easyJet flight at Gatwick Airport and they made their own way to the terminal
Image: Getty Images)
A disabled easyJet passenger died at Gatwick Airport amid travel chaos in the UK.
It was claimed the man fell down an escalator on Wednesday after help failed to arrive and made his way to the terminal.
Gatwick told the Mirror it was a “sad and tragic incident” but refuted claims by an unnamed source to The Sun that staff shortages had something to do with it.
A Gatwick Airport spokesman told the Mirror: “This is a sad and tragic incident and our thoughts go out to the family of the deceased.
“A member of Wilson James [private aviation services] Personnel were waiting when the plane arrived and were in the process of disembarking the three PRM passengers when the incident occurred. Lack of personnel played no role in this incident, it was claimed. It is normal for a member of staff to disembark three passengers in need of assistance by escorting them individually the short distance to the waiting buggy.
“A formal investigation is currently underway and it would not be appropriate to comment further.
An easyJet spokesman said The sun: “Some of our cabin crew provided medical assistance to a passenger at Gatwick while he was awaiting paramedics, however the passenger has sadly passed away.
“Our thoughts are with her family and friends at this difficult time.”
The alleged accident comes after months of trouble frustrated passengers at airports faced with lengthy delays and last-minute cancellations.
Several disabled passengers have complained about being left on planes long after the plane has landed.
BBC security correspondent Frank Gardner was stuck on an empty jet after it landed at Heathrow Airport in the UK from Estonia.
The veteran journalist, who began using a wheelchair in 2004 after being shot six times in Saudi Arabia, said it was the fourth time it had happened to him.
A Sunair flight out last Monday Gatwick Airport was delayed two hours because a disabled person was stuck on board an aircraft.
In general, airports work with special assistance services to ensure that people who need additional assistance boarding and disembarking aircraft receive it.
Mr Gardner, 60, tweeted about his experience on the flight and explained how it gave him the impression that disabled passengers were not being adequately catered for.
AFP via Getty Images)
“It has happened again. I’m stuck on an empty plane at Heathrow airport long after everyone else has left – ‘no staff to get my wheelchair off the plane,'” he wrote.
“I’m SO disappointed in @HeathrowAirport as disabled passengers seem to be the lowest priority once again.”
About 22 minutes after his original tweet, the journalist confirmed that he had made it to the terminal.
Quamer Khaliq also found himself in the same situation in 2019 when the special assistance he had booked to help him off the plane never arrived.
The 44-year-old, who has been confined to a wheelchair since birth due to spinal muscular atrophy, remained in his seat after his Thomas Cook Airlines flight landed at Manchester Airport in Florida after a nine-hour flight from Orlando.
After all other passengers left, Mr Khaliq, his attendant and daughter remained in their seats while the cabin crew and pilot disembarked.
Cleaners came and went and the drama only ended when the newly recruited cabin crew came on board for training and he threatened to dial 999 to get the fire department to rescue him.
The Mirror have reached out to easyJet and Gatwick for comment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/disabled-easyjet-passenger-dies-falling-27257348 A disabled easyJet passenger died at Gatwick Airport after falling down the escalator