Video shows 2-year-old climbing onto conveyor belt at Atlanta airport, completing 5-minute-long ride after sneaking away from mom
Edith Vega said that she looked away from her son, Lorenzo, "for a second", and the next thing she knew, he had climbed onto the conveyor belt and was being transported along with the other luggage
ATLANTA, GEORGIA: A 2-year-old child was caught on surveillance cameras trying to get onto the conveyor belt at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. He succeeded in doing so without the knowledge of his mother and ended up completing an entire ride on the airport's baggage system.
The incident took place Monday, July 22 afternoon behind the Spirit Airlines ticket counter, when the boy's mother was busy printing out her boarding pass at a kiosk, according to an Atlanta police report.
The boy's mother, Edith Vega, said that she looked away from her son, Lorenzo, "for a second" and, the next thing she knew, he had climbed onto the conveyor belt and was being transported along with the other luggage.
“When I tried to go after him, it was the end of the machine,” Vega told WSB TV. “He just went a long ride away. I couldn’t even catch up.”
In the video released by the airport, the child, who was wearing an orange shirt, could be seen walking through an unattended Spirits Airlines ticket counter and standing directly in front of a moving conveyor belt.
An airline spokesperson told ABC News that the belt was not moving when the child accessed it, but since it is pressure-activated, it was placed in motion when he placed his hand on top of it.
Lorenzo got momentarily stuck on the belt before a black and yellow bag pushed him through to the other side of the wall.
The spokesperson also added that the counter was not being manned by any staff members since it had not opened at the time. After watching Lorenzo being swept away by the belt, his mother rushed toward him in an attempt to rescue him but was stopped by some airline employees.
“I just went blank,” Vega said, recalling the incident. “I was, like, ‘Hey, my son...' I wanted to jump in and try to go get him but they didn’t allow me. I was just freaking out and I’m, like, ‘Oh my goodness, I hope he’s OK. I hope he’s just enjoying the ride.’”
The ride itself lasted for five minutes and was full of twists and turns, which were captured by other cameras in the restricted areas of the airport. He was finally able to find his way into Transportation Security Administration baggage area where he was immediately noticed by an agent and brought to safety.
The child is said to have sustained a fracture in his right arm, although it was unclear as to exactly how he got the injury.
According to the Atlanta police report, the boy was treated by emergency personnel for a "severely swollen and bruised" hand before being transported to a hospital.
“I’m thankful he’s alive,” Vega said. “That’s all that goes through my mind. I’m just grateful he’s here. I just hope he gets better.”
Spirit Airlines said in a statement regarding the incident: "We are currently working with TSA and airport officials to ensure all protocol was followed. We wish the child the best in their recovery."