Disabled man dies at Gatwick airport after 'falling down escalator' when assistance did not arrive
Gatwick airport said the incident happened while a member of staff was helping three other passengers
An investigation is underway after a disabled passenger died at Gatwick airport on Wednesday.
The unidentified easyJet passenger reportedly fell down an escalator after no one arrived to assist him and he made his own way to the terminal.
The airline confirmed the death, and said members of its cabin crew gave "medical assistance" to the man while they waited for paramedics.
A spokesperson said in a statement via the BBC: "A number of our cabin crew provided medical assistance to a passenger at Gatwick Airport whilst waiting for paramedics to arrive.
"However the passenger sadly later passed away."
“Our thoughts are with their family and friends at this difficult time.”
Gatwick airport has said the incident happened while three people with restricted mobility (PRM) were being helped by a single member of staff.
But the airport said that this was normal procedure and has denied that staff shortages had anything to do with the tragedy.
A spokesperson said: "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.
"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."
The death comes just days after another disabled passenger, 45-year-old Victoria Brignell, was left on a plane for more than an hour and a half when no one came to help her off the aircraft.
Gatwick apologised for this incident and said it would be investigating why Brignell was left on the plane for so long and agreed that her treatment was simply "unacceptable".
Airports across the country have been plagued by chaos and disruption this summer due to staff shortages as a result of the pandemic and a surge in demand for travel now that covid restrictions have largely removed.
Bosses at Gatwick airport announced on Thursday that they would be capping the number of planes that use the airport in July and August in an attempt to avoid the "cancellation chaos" that many have experienced over the summer.
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