Baby Who Died in Airport Conveyor Belt Tragedy Couldn't Have Been Saved

Heartbreaking 98

Yesterday, our collective jaws dropped in horror and shock at the story of the mom who put her baby on an airport conveyor belt in Spain, only to see him whisked away to his death. There were many questions. How could this happen? Aren't conveyor belts notoriously slow? Why couldn't help be gotten? Why couldn't the mom or someone else grab the child? Well, now some answers are coming out. And it's still just as horrific -- possibly more so, because reportedly the mom did NOT place her baby on the carousel. She dropped the baby accidentally. It's the kind of thing that could have happened to any one of us.

Confusion set in over the logistics of a baby disappearing down a luggage chute. Most of us have been at the airport and wearily retrieved our bags from the slow-as-molasses carousel. Only, you know how slow it is until suddenly your bag is right in front of you, and unless you are poised like an Olympic swimmer diving into a pool, it goes right by you and you are left jogging after it.

Well, this was apparently much worse. The belt (pictured in the original source story) is flat and reportedly moves extremely fast. The mom (who has been identified as American) was standing near it with her 5-month-old and older child when her stroller got stuck in the chute.

She reportedly climbed onto it, with her baby in hand, and then accidentally stepped on a mechanism that set the belt in motion. She was carrying her baby at the time, in a baby carrier, and she lost her balance and both of them fell onto the belt.

This explains why she couldn't grab the baby, who was quickly whisked under the chute and trapped, suffering head injuries that instantly killed him.

Now, yes, there are still questions. If the stroller was stuck, doesn't that mean the belt was moving? If so, did she step on a moving belt? Reports make it sound like the belt was stationary when she stepped on it, so it could be that it was moving and then came to a halt when the stroller got stuck. Or sometimes these belts will stop and start. There were signs warning of "risk of entrapment" as well as emergency stop buttons, but this didn't stop this devastating incident from occurring.

Of course, it's not necessarily the smartest thing in the world to stand on a conveyor belt with a baby in hand, but she probably thought she could quickly retrieve the stroller without incident. Additionally, the baby was in a carrier, so she thought she had a good handle on him.

Witnesses said the tragedy only took seconds. The mom simply had no time to react. Reportedly, her husband was with her at the time, but may not have been near her when it happened. And besides, aren't moms accustomed to doing it all? Let's face it, we often don't ask for help, for even the smallest things, because we get so used to doing everything.

Add in possible exhaustion and jet lag, and this was one small poor choice that led to tragedy.

What do you think about what happened?


Image via Malias/Flickr

accidents, death, in the news

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D.j. Lord

she stepped on it?

merma... mermaid13dragon

tragic & sad. The mother will regret this for the rest of her life. RIP..

Brain... BrainyMommy

Humans are awful so they will judge her to make themselves feel better.

nonmember avatar Lilly

It's just...It doesn't quite add up for me. Why on earth would she climb onto a conveyor belt with all those signs and warnings? Why not get a maintenance worker? Why not call her husband to help her with the baby (and bring along the other kids) while she tried to get it? I could be totally off-point here, it's just that it seems like there were so many other options for this woman to take instead of putting her baby on that belt. I'm not saying this isn't a horible tragedy, and I feel for that family and their loss, I truly do. It's just...I don't know. To me it seems a little off.

miche... micheledo

My guess is it looked like a simple tug would loosen the thing.  It didn't look 'that hard.'  Something most of us would have thought was no big deal.  :(  So so sorry for her and the family.  How awful.  :(

abra819 abra819

Brainy, I get the feeling you're just a disgruntled little grump.

lobus lobus

This is.really sad and tragic. Baby wearing is so popular and its easy to feel like u can do anything while wearing your baby. I myself use an ergo and a ring sling but while I'm wearing baby I'm super cautious of what I do just tripping on my own feet could hurt both of us. This new story makes more sense and I feel very sorry for their family.

Lauren Everett

I would love to say that I could have just said "To hell with the stroller"...especially since she had a carrier, which made the stroller pretty much obsolete. However, we all are human, and we all do stupid things at some point in our lives. Her mistake cost her baby their life and she will forever regret that decision. I feel for this woman and her family.

nonmember avatar Su

I'm glad more information is coming out. It was still not the thing to do, but I have more compassion for her now than I did when I read the original story. RIP little baby and I hope the mother is able to raise her other child without too much guilt. We would all be devastated and it would be easy to succumb to grief, but her other child and husband need her. Best wishes to the family.

Ella Rucker

Not to get too "commenter with an axe to grind with The Stir," but are you blaming someone that the dad wasn't there?  By saying moms always have to do it all?  


This is just sad.  We've all done something that we thought could be handled quickly but might have been dangerous.  There's no way she could have known how dangerous it really would be.

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