Passengers reportedly screamed in horror after a disabled grandpa fell to his death from an escalator at Gatwick Airport, an inquest has found.
Gerardo Silano, 82, broke his spine and died on his way home from a family vacation in Naples, according to a newspaper report.
His family had reportedly booked special assistance in the form of a wheelchair to help Gerardo and his wife Irma off the EasyJet flight and through the North Terminal on June 15.
A report in The Sun told how Gerardo chose to walk up an escalator instead of boarding a lift to join his wife, but fell to his death.
Gerardo’s son Pasquale told an inquest how he heard a woman scream and later saw his father lying at the foot of the escalator.
“I dropped my bag and ran down the escalator and saw some EasyJet staff running to help him,” Pasquale told the Chichester inquest yesterday.
He said: “I was holding my father’s hand. I could see in his eyes that he was hurt. My father had fallen a little.
“Dad lived the long and good life and he had endured and triumphed in so many things lately that we thought he was indestructible.”
According to The Sun, Pasquale also admitted he didn’t give his father his full attention as he was “multitasking” when the family disembarked.
Although Gatwick was among a number of airports to face disruption over the summer due to staff shortages, the inquest found staff cuts played no role in the accident, The Sun reported.
Gerardo’s family described him as a “strong and resilient” man who loved being a grandfather.
Pasquale said: “Being a grandfather has shown us his softer side. He loved his family and was always happiest when he was surrounded by them.”
The investigation was adjourned to next year because of further evidence.
A Gatwick Airport spokesman told The Sun: “Our thoughts remain with the Silano family at this difficult time.
“It would not be appropriate to go into detail before the investigation is complete.
“However, what I can say is that special assistance was provided and requested and played no role in the sad accident.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/23190546.tributes-paid-grandad-fell-death-gatwick/?ref=rss Tributes to grandpa who fell to his death at Gatwick