Airport worker, 50, died five years after being crushed by two doors

Airport worker, 50, died five years after she was left in vegetative state when she was crushed by two doors as she helped manoeuvre private jet into hangar, inquest hears

  • Susan Dorbon, 50, who was known as Suzy, was trapped between doors in 2015 
  • Incident at Signature Flight Support at Luton Airport  left her tetraplegic in coma
  • She died last year at the Marbrook Centre care home in Cambridgeshire
  • An airport worker at a company that handles private jets for the rich and famous died five years after she was crushed by hangar doors, an inquest jury was told today.

    Susan Dorbon, 50, who was known as Suzy, was found trapped between two doors at Signature Flight Support at Luton Airport in 2015.

    She died on August 30 last year at the Marbrook Centre car home in Eaton Socon, Cambridgeshire.

    The cause of death was as a result traumatic brain injury and cardiac arrest, the hearing at Central Bedfordshire Coroner’s Court was told.

    Coroner Dr Sean Cummings told the jury that Mrs Dorbon, who had been married to her husband Mick since 2009, had been part of a three person team moving aircraft on the night shift at Hangar 219 at the airport on April 28, 2015.

    While two workmates were collecting an aircraft she operated the doors to the hangar. The coroner said the door operator should have been standing a metre clear of the doors before operating them, but somehow she became trapped.

    Susan Dorbon, 50, who was known as Suzy, was trapped between doors in 2015

    Susan Dorbon, 50, who was known as Suzy, was trapped between doors in 2015

    Mrs Dorbon had been married to her husband Mick since 2009, and who cared for her

    Mrs Dorbon had been married to her husband Mick since 2009, and who cared for her

    Her colleague Stuart Hyde said one aircraft had gone into the hangar without a problem. He and colleague Jim Cooper used a tug to collect a second plane from Harrods, another private jet handling company.

    He told the jury: ‘Suzy said she would move the doors. We went to Harrods to pick up the other aircraft.

    ‘Suzy was to manoeuvre the doors for the second aircraft. We got held up by aircraft control. When we approached the hangar it looked like the doors were in the correct position. Suzy wasn’t in sight.

    ‘We slowed down and got out of the aircraft tug. The situation did not feel right.

    ‘I started walking towards the hangar and crossed threshold of the doors. I saw a high-viz jacket. I walked towards it and I realised it was Suzy stuck in the doors.

    ‘She was upright but at an angle but leaning into a cavity.’

    Susan Dorbon was working for Signature Flight Support at Luton airport

    Susan Dorbon was working for Signature Flight Support at Luton airport

    Incident at Signature Flight Support at Luton Airport left her tetraplegic and in a coma

    Incident at Signature Flight Support at Luton Airport left her tetraplegic and in a coma

    He said he called for the emergency services. She was freed by firefighters and airlifted to Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge.

    Mr Hyde said the mechanical doors, which are operated by a pendant and button, had been installed a year earlier and staff had received an hour-long training session.

     He said there was no safety device to stop two doors being moved at the same time.

    He said: ‘ I can’t remember being told a distance to stand back from the doors.’ After the accident he said markers were put in place.

    Mick Dorbon who had lived with his wife in Barton-Le-Clay, Beds was not at the hearing.

    In a statement read to the jury he said he and his wife, who did not have children, both worked for different companies at the airport. He said they felt very lucky to have a good life with her.

    At the time he made the statement he had been at her bedside every day for all but five days. He had not worked himself since the accident, which had left her tetraplegic and in a coma. Mr Dorban was diagnosed with PTSD.

    The coroner told the jury the issues in the case were: ‘What safety arrangements were in place. Did staff know about them? How did she get into the door space and could her death have been reasonably prevented.’

    The hearing, which is expected to last three days, continues.

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