An Alabama airport sign that may have weighed as much as 400 pounds fell on a family at Birmingham-Shuttlesworth (BHM) International’s new terminal, killing a 10-year-old boy and injuring three other family members. The family of seven was simply walking past the sign to catch a connecting flight back home to Kansas when the sign collapsed.
Luke Bresette, 10, died after being trapped under the sign, which required six men to lift off of the crushed Overland, Park family members. Heather Bresette, his mother, was hospitalized in critical condition with a fractured pelvis, as well as two broken ankles.
Two other brothers were also treated in the hospital. Eight-year-old Sam reportedly suffered a broken nose and leg. Five-year-old Tyler has a concussion.
The apparently defective airport sign missed one brother, the sister, and the father.
The newly renovated $201 million concourse had just been opened on March 13, and an investigation is underway to see why the sign fell.
Albert Osorio, 46, a Birmingham resident, was one of the six men who helped lift the sign off the boy. He told an Alabama reporter that he thought the sign was poorly attached to the wall with a substance that looked like Liquid Nails, a popular caulk and adhesive used by do-it-yourselfers.
While the airport authorities are still investigating, I think it’s safe to say that for $201 million, the flying public might have expected better. It’s worth noting that a CNN report stated that the accident happened landside, in an area outside the security checkpoints, where the family may have been visiting to make use of the children’s play area, restaurants, and other amenities that were recently built there.
No flights were delayed, and the accident area was roped off. BHM airport authorities will meet today to start work on finding out what happened — and how to prevent the collapse of any other signs in the airport.
[photo frankfurt airport sign courtesy Wikipedia Commons]