An elderly Cuban woman who planned to spend her final years in the United States died in an escalator accident on arrival at Miami International Airport, authorities say.
At least five people were injured Sunday when Bertola Agrispina Acosta-Bereda, 75, fell on the escalator and started a chain reaction, pulling other passengers on top of her, police and witnesses said."She cried out, she screamed. And then she fainted or had some type of attack," said Nancy Brizuela, an airport official who translated the comments of witnesses.
"Then the others who were right behind her just went over her and they were unable to stop and they trampled her."
Police said the woman, one of a group of elderly Cuban immigrants who had just arrived from Havana on a weekly Eastern Airlines charter, may have been frightened by the movement of the escalator.
"It's possible they've never seen an escalator before," said Metro-Dade Detective Ralph Fernandez."
Dade County medical examiner Arthur Copeland said it wasn't immediately clear why the woman fell.
"She herself might have had something like a heart attack. I won't know till the autopsy . . . what caused her to fall back. She had extensive injuries on her face, and she may have had a broken leg too," he said.
At least five people, including the dead woman's husband, were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. They were listed in stable condition after being treated for minor injuries.