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3 Year old falls 20ft boarding Ryanair flight

Thu 12th Aug 2010

The 3 Year old fell through the gap between the handrail and the platform at the top of the steps whilst boarding the airplane.

Her mother was carrying her 18-month-old son, with one hand and her hand luggage with the other free hand as Olga climbed the stairs.

But when she reached the top, Olga turned towards her mother but slipped and fell through the gap and onto the tarmac beneath the plane at Stansted Airport.

She had to be airlifted to hospital, luckily escaping serious injury.

Ms Slater described how her daughter "suddenly screamed and slid off the side of the platform".

She said: "I thrust my son into the arms of an air hostess and ran down to reach my daughter who was lying, screaming, beneath the plane. I was forcibly prevented from holding her by one of the many doctors on the flight in case she'd broken her back."

A report published today by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch trecommended that Ryanair review its current passenger boarding and disembarkation procedures "so that assistance is made available to passengers accompanied by children and those with special needs".

A spokesman for the airline said: "Ryanair has reviewed its procedures as recommended by the AAIB report into this incident, which took place over a year ago.

"New procedures, including new high-visibility barriers and specific announcements to passengers travelling with young children on both boarding and disembarkation have also been introduced in order to eliminate any recurrence of these extremely rare events in the context of over one million Ryanair flights over the past two years."

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