A 65-year-old female passenger died on Saturday afternoon (14 January 2006) at O.R. Tambo International Airport, following an accident on one of the escalators in Terminal B. The accident occurred at approximately 15h20.
The woman, who was on a wheelchair and destined for Cape Town with Nationwide Airlines, was being pushed by her husband when she fell off the wheelchair, down the escalator. The airline representative was present.
The escalators are not built for wheelchair usage and all lifts where available. It is unclear why the escalator was used.
The Airport clinic staff were at the scene within minutes but the woman died shortly thereafter.
The South African Police Service and the Department of Labour were informed.
As matter of course, the escalator was shut down for the on-site investigation. Yesterday (January 16 2006) the Department of Labour sent a competent person to assess the escalator. It was declared safe for use.