A 57-year-old Thai woman lost part of her left leg Thursday morning in a moving walkway accident at Don Mueang International Airport in Bangkok. According to Airports of Thailand, the company that manages the six international airports in the country, the woman was on her way to her 9:45 a.m. Nok Air flight to the Nakhon Si Thammarat province when she was “seriously injured” at the end of a moving walkway.

Airports of Thailand said it was alerted at 8:40 a.m. that a female traveler had her foot stuck in an escalator in Terminal 2. The assigned medical team had to cut her leg off from above the knee, the Associated Press reported. The woman was later taken to two hospitals for treatment, including an attempt to reattach her leg.

In a news conference after the accident, Don Mueang International Airport director Karun Thanakuljeerapat said suitcase wheels were also found under the walkway belt, and that the walkways are inspected on a daily basis. He added that authorities will take care of medical expenses and compensation for the traveler.

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After the accident, the moving walkways at the airport were inspected and temporarily disabled. Airports of Thailand said its engineering team will conduct further inspection. Officials said they created a committee to investigate the incident, promising that if the accident occurred due to negligence, strict penalties would be taken.

Bangkok-based author Joe Cummings, who wrote the first Lonely Planet guidebook for Thailand, said he has never seen anything like this before in the country. “There is that recorded warning about taking care when the walkway comes to an end,” Cummings said in a text message. “I always thought, why would that be necessary?”

Mike Stewart, general manager for Intrepid Travel in Thailand, who has lived in the country for 20 years, said the accident was all over local news Thursday. “There is an image floating around where she has kind of sat down on the escalator and her leg is obviously down underneath,” he said. “It is pretty disturbing when you see anything like that.”

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Stewart said people are resurfacing a 2019 story of a man whose shoe was shredded in a moving walkway at Don Mueang, who noted the “teeth” of the infrastructure appeared to be damaged. Some people have noticed a similar issue in photos of the recent accident.

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Don Mueang, the smaller of the two major airports in the capital city, opened in 1914. It is the main operating base for budget regional airlines Nok Air, Thai Air Asia and Thai Lion Air, and a hub for domestic travel. Stewart has traveled through it extensively, and while it is an old airport, “it is actually in relatively good condition,” he said. “I have never really had any concerns.”

Stewart said he does not believe the accident should worry travelers visiting Thailand. “I think the authorities have actually acted fairly quickly and really well in response to what happened,” he said. “But I suppose with any kind of mechanical device, there is always the risk of something.” Still, “it is the first time that I can think of where somebody is being pretty seriously injured,” he added.




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