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Boy, 2, Swept Away Down Airport Conveyor Belt

Toddler got behind an unstaffed airline counter and onto the luggage belt
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 25, 2019 10:25 AM CDT

(Newser) – A terrifying few minutes for a mother in Atlanta Monday afternoon—as well as for her 2-year-old son, who spent those five minutes or so getting swept away by a baggage conveyor belt at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Edith Vega says she set Lorenzo down for just a moment next to the kiosk where she needed to print out a boarding pass near the Spirit Airlines counter. When she looked up, he was gone. The counter was closed at the time and there were no employees behind it, so Lorenzo had managed to get behind it himself, where he placed his hand atop the pressure-activated belt—which turned on as a result, carrying him away, a spokesperson for the airport tells ABC News.

Vega says she wanted to jump on the belt herself and go get him, but airport staff wouldn't let her. "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,'" she recalls. Lorenzo ended up in the TSA bag room, where workers turned off the belt, pulled him off, and called for help, CNN reports. His hand was severely swollen and bruised when he was found, and it turned out he had fractured his right arm. It's not clear how the injury occurred. "I'm thankful he's alive," Vega says. "I'm just grateful he's here." (A similar story years ago had a much more tragic ending.)

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