Digital Sign in Alabama Airport Kills 10-Year-Old

airportdsaccident-0313I just read the AP story about the departure and arrival monitor that fell on a family of five at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth Airport in Birmingham, Ala. on Friday. It was a six-screen (3×2 array) flat-panel enclosure that apparently held 40″ LCD monitors that were mounted inside a wooden housing – pretty typical of what you see at most airports. However, it was not attached to anything — it was free-standing. The entire enclosure fell on the entire family, killing the 10-year-old boy, seriously injuring the mother (who’s still in the hospital) and injuring the other kids.

This is a tragedy and should be and will be investigated. And, in addition to monitoring the condition of the mother, we also need to be watching this story for who will get the blame. Is it the airport’s responsibility to make sure the digital signage is safe, is it the integrator’s responsibility to make sure it meets code for the structure (whether or not they designed the system) or is it the state’s responsibility to monitor these types of installs — much like they monitor the safety of elevators?

I am not sure where this will end up, but we all better be watching this and take note as safety of giant electrical/digital signs will soon be monitored and the responsibility of one of these three groups. And, as I am sure you are all going to call operations to make sure you are insured properly, I’d think learning the codes and safety regulations to keep everyone safe once these things have been installed is the most important issue at hand.

The thoughts and prayers of the entire rAVe Team go out to the Bresette family. You can monitor their progress via the eldest daughter’s twitter feed here: https://twitter.com/anna_bresette

Photo via ABC News