Bangkok airport director removed over travellator incident
BANGKOK - The director of Bangkok’s Don Mueang Airport is being transferred following a probe into a travellator incident that saw a passenger lose her left leg, an informed source said.
Mr Karun Thanakuljeerapat is being replaced by Wijit Kaesaithiam, who is currently the director of Chiang Mai International Airport. The transfers will come into effect from August.
Mr Karun’s transfer comes after Airports of Thailand (AOT) conducted an investigation into the travellator incident in June.
On June 29, a female passenger got her leg stuck in the moving walkway at the airport’s domestic terminal. She eventually had her left leg amputated.
The source said the investigation found that the mishap was caused by one of the travellator’s plates slipping off its frame due to missing screws. Investigators reportedly found three loose screws in the pit beneath the travellator.
The travellator was originally installed in 1987 and underwent a complete part upgrade in 2015 by the original manufacturer. It has five safety sensors but lacks one at the floor plates because it is an old model, said the source.
AOT director Kirati Kitmanawat reportedly said the authorities have proposed the hiring of a third-party investigator to check the condition and safety of all walkways and related equipment at Don Mueang Airport to restore passengers’ confidence. The investigators must be experts in escalators, elevators and travellators.
The airport will also install additional CCTV cameras at all walkways to monitor if there is any damage or missing parts, he added.
Finally, the airport will hire an external audit company to audit the maintenance of all mechanical equipment in the airport. The report will help identify any shortcomings in airport operations and will be used to improve its standard operation procedures in both normal and emergency situations. - THE NATION/ASIA NEWS NETWORK