Passenger seriously hurt after falling down aircraft steps
A PENSIONER sustained serious head injuries at Jersey Airport in December after falling while leaving an aircraft, a report has revealed.
According to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch, the 74-year-old had just arrived in the Island on an easyJet flight from Liverpool when she tripped on stairs placed at the rear of the aircraft and fell head first from around seven steps from the ground.
The woman was initially tended to by a nurse who had been travelling on the same flight before paramedics were called and she was taken to hospital. The remaining 137 passengers disembarked from the forward exit.
The accident took place on 1 December at 3 pm in daylight and conditions on the day were described as dry with light winds.
However, according to a document outlining the AAIB’s investigation, the woman’s shoe broke while she was making her way down the steps and this may have caused her to fall. It said: ‘The subsequent investigation by the ground handling agent found the steps were fully serviceable, correctly positioned and free from any contamination.
‘The accident probably occurred because the passenger’s shoe broke while she was descending the steps. Carrying a suitcase may have impaired her ability to hold the handrail.’
It added: ‘The operator already makes a PA [public address] before passengers disembark reminding them to take care on the steps and to hold the handrail.’
The investigation was launched after the 42-year-old captain of the easyJet Airbus A319 submitted a report to the AAIB.
A spokeswoman for Swissport, easyJet’s ground handling agent, said that they had flown the injured woman’s family to Jersey following the incident, before she was transferred back to the UK.
She said: ‘On 1 December 2017 a female passenger fell while descending an aircraft. She was assisted by Swissport staff on the scene and in her transfer to hospital and her family were assisted on arrival in Jersey.
‘We continue to be in touch with the passenger and her family and wish her well in her recovery. The steps used by the passenger are global industry standard and on inspection following the incident, were found to be fully serviceable.’
The company also said that it had notified the Civil Aviation Authority and the Health and Safety Inspectorate about the accident.