Airport Sign Falls, Kills Boy

10-year-old killed in Birmingham accident

By Newser Editors and Wire Services

Posted Mar 23, 2013 8:19 AM CDT

(Newser) – A flight-information sign inside the Birmingham airport fell on a family yesterday, killing a 10-year boy and injuring other family members. Firefighters estimated the arrival-departure sign weighed 300 to 400 pounds, and airport officials aren't sure what caused it to fall. Luke Bresette was pronounced dead at Children's of Alabama hospital, and two other children—thought to be the boy's siblings—were being treated there. Luke's mother, Heather Bresette, is in critical condition at another hospital. The family is from Overland Park, Kansas.

Albert Osorio of Birmingham tells al.com that he was close by when the sign fell. He said a loud boom was followed by screams from the family and witnesses. Then he and five other passers-by lifted off the sign. "The whole thing flipped down on those kids," he says. "It took all of us here to stand it up." It happened about 1:30pm in a pre-security area. The airport opened newly renovated concourses last week as part of a $200 million modernization.

People hold up a message board sign that fell on a family.
People hold up a message board sign that fell on a family.   (Carol Robinson)
Fire trucks line up outside the terminal at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
Fire trucks line up outside the terminal at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.   (MARK ALMOND)
A maintenance worker sweeps up debris beside a message board sign that fell on a family at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.
A maintenance worker sweeps up debris beside a message board sign that fell on a family at the Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport.   (MARK ALMOND)
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