Disabled man dies at Gatwick airport after falling down escalator

A formal investigation is currently underway

Investigation underway after man dies at Gatwick airport amid cancellation chaos

News has emerged of a tragedy involving a disabled passenger who had just arrived at Gatwick airport on Wednesday.

Reports suggest the passenger decided to make his own way from the easyJet aircraft into the terminal, where he fell from an escalator and sustained fatal injuries.

The unnamed man was one of three “passengers with restricted mobility” (PRMs) on the aircraft who required special assistance. The plane was met by a member of staff of the aviation logistics provider Wilson James.

It is understood members of easyJet cabin crew who witnessed the accident tried to provide assistance but were unable to save him.

A Gatwick airport spokesperson said: “This is a sad and tragic incident and our thoughts remain with the family of the deceased.

“A member of Wilson James staff was waiting when the aircraft arrived and was in the process of disembarking the three PRM passengers when the incident occurred.

“Staff shortages were not a factor in this incident as has been claimed. It is normal for one staff member to disembark three passengers who require assistance by taking them one at a time the short distance to the waiting buggy.

“A formal investigation is currently under way and it would not be appropriate to comment further.”

It follows a man sharing footage of the damage caused to his son’s £11,000 wheelchair during an easyJet flight from Milan to Lisbon.

Barnabe Freixo says he and his 10-year-old son Zorion, who suffers from Duchenne muscular dystrophy, are “distraught” now it has been rendered unusable.

Mr Freixo claims the luggage handlers - who he showed how to safely store the chair at Milan Malpensa Airport before boarding - had attempted to take wheels off and, in doing so, broken the electrical connectors that make the chair move.

He has been in contact with the airline, but says no action has been taken to resolve the issue.

An easyJet spokesperson told The Independent: “We are urgently investigating the damage to Mr Freixo’s son’s wheelchair with our ground handling partners in Milan and Lisbon and are very sorry for the difficulty this will cause the family. We are in contact with the family to apologise for their experience and provide assistance to resolve this for them.”

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