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