Airport Digital Sign Topples, Kills 10-Year-Old

March 25, 2013 by Dave Haynes


Here’s a tragic reminder of how important it is to get a deployment team that knows what it is doing when it installs digital screens in public spaces.

One child is dead and other family members badly injured after a flight information display wall fell on them all as they were passing through Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport in Alabama this past weekend.

The FIDS wall appears to have been entirely free-standing and because of the lopsided weight of the LCD displays fixed on the front, it toppled over.

The 10-year-old boy was with his family catching a connecting flight. His mom is unconscious and on a respirator and does not, reportedly, know of the death of one of her boys.

The wall is estimated to have weighed as much as 400 pounds and just toppled suddenly on Friday afternoon. Photos at the site strongly suggest it was entirely free-standing, and did not have wall anchors as a safety precaution.

Seemingly nuts, but that’s said without knowing any real details. All I do know is that even Ikea encourages customers to anchor bookcases to walls. The integrator – if there was one with actual pro AV experience – has not been named, as yet. What is known is that the sign had only been in place a matter of a few weeks.


No sign of an anchor system

It’s a terrible reminder of how important it is to contract companies that know what they are doing and have directly relevant experience.   You would think someone would have put this in place and had a sense the weight was skewed to the front and was therefore at risk of tipping.

Hope the balance of the family -from the Kansas City-area – is able to physically recover.

Photos from


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