A horrific story out of Spain. A couple who were set to head to their vacation on Spain's beaches arrived at the airport and were waiting for their luggage. They had their two children with them, one just a 5-month-old baby. Police say the mother then placed her newborn son on the airport's luggage conveyor belt. Suddenly, it began moving. And her son was whisked away. That's the last time she would see him alive.
Police say that the conveyor belt, which was there specifically for large suitcases, pushchairs, and musical instruments, began turning with the baby on the top of it and the baby was carried away to the drop portal, where all of the bags merge. He became entangled, trapped, and died.
This is a brutally horrific story -- and the sort of thing that is every parent's nightmare. That you could, in one brief flash of a mistake, cause a tragedy you can never take back.
The parents had just flown in from London and arrived in Spain shortly before midnight. They were reportedly either British or American. Either way, if they were flying with two children -- one of them an infant -- and coming in so late, the mom was probably exhausted and jet-lagged.
Sometimes you're just not thinking clearly. And that's all it takes.
No one should judge this mom, she will judge herself harshly enough. I can only imagine her panic as she saw her baby being whisked away from her. And the hope that she could quickly catch up to him. And the disbelief and horror when she realized that the worst had happened.
Conveyor belts are one of those things that seem relatively harmless -- kind of like escalators -- but they can be deadly. How many times have we put our foot on one or even sat on one while wearily waiting for luggage to appear? Perhaps there should be more clear warning signs that conveyor belts can suddenly start moving at any time. However, when you are bone-tired and distracted from traveling, chances are you may not even notice signs.
I hope this mom can find it in herself to forgive herself.
Have you ever had a close call with a luggage carousel?
Image via Prayitno/Flickr