AJ Ricketts has had dozens of flawless flights at Miami International Airport, but his Monday morning trip broke the mold when his MIA people mover vehicle broke down between terminals, leaving Ricketts and his fellow passengers stranded for nearly two hours.
“I thought it would just be a quick thing,” he said. “Then the AC turned off.”
Several technicians walked across the elevated tracks to work on the struggling cooling system, before Miami-Dade Fire Rescue eventually evacuated the car and led the passengers back to the airport.
“Everyone was evacuated safely,” said MDFR spokeswoman Erika Benitez.
The high temperatures led to at least one elderly passenger having his breathing problems treated with oxygen, said Ricketts, a broadcaster for Florida International University football.
“We all get delayed in travel, but when it starts to compromise people’s health there need to be protocols to work it out,” he said.
Airport spokesman Greg Chin said when a mover vehicle breaks down, airport staff members ask passengers to stay in the train until they’re escorted out by employees and fire rescue, like Ricketts was Monday, because the tracks are usually “live” with electricity.
Chin called the evacuation “a very rare occurrence.”