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How did baby come to die on airport baggage carousel?

October 10, 2013 Airport, Headline News No Comments Email Email

egtmedia59Police and airport investigators are trying to work out how a five-month-old baby came to die on a baggage carousel at an airport in Spain’s holiday port city of Alicante on the Costa Blanca.

It was unclear how the baby ended up on the baggage belt for oversized luggage, a  spokeswoman for Spain’s airport authority, AENA, told CNN.

“The baby was on the baggage carousel, but could not have got there alone,” the spokeswoman told the news channel. “Someone had to put the babyWarwick Hotel San Francisco there.”

Initially, those self-evident facts seemed all that was known about the tragic case. The infant’s mother was said to be an American who had flown in from London Gatwick. The child’s father, a Canadian, was already there at the airport waiting.

Britain’s Daily Mirror shed more light on the tragedy at the weekend. The mother was being treated by a team of British psychologists, it reported.

“Heartbroken Nathania Terry had flown to Alicante on an Easyjet flight from Gatwick airport last week to start a family holiday when the tragedy happened,” the Mirror reported.

“The British Red Cross has now sent a team, including a social worker, out to Spain to help the 32-year-old and her family through the ordeal.”

The mother, according to the paper, watched in horror as her five-month-old son was crushed to death on the carousel.

Spanish police believe the baby died from head injuries when the mother lost grip of him and he became trapped on the conveyor belt. They think she may have been trying to retrieve a baby stroller at the time.

CNN quoted the Spanish Civil Guard as saying the baby’s death appeared to be an accident, but an investigation was under way.

After the baby was pronounced dead, the family had to wait for a judge to arrive, according to Spanish law, before that the body could be moved.

The baggage belt for oversized luggage is used for items like infant car booster seats and baby strollers, or pushchairs. The thought that a baby could die in such a manner has disturbing implications for airports at holiday destinations, which handle millions of families, many with children and infants, every year.

Alicante’s airport alone handles nine million passengers a year, many of them foreign tourists on Mediterranean holidays.

Written by : Peter Needham

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