A one-year-old child suffered bruises on his leg after he accidentally crawled on to a moving baggage conveyor belt next to an unmanned check-in counter at the Mumbai airport on Thursday.
The incident took place around 1:45pm and resulted in suspension of terminal operations for 10 minutes, the time it took to free the child’s leg and remove him from the belt.
The child was travelling with his parents and a sibling from Mumbai to Delhi. His father, Rakesh Garg, had already collected boarding cards for the Air India flight to Delhi.
Eyewitnesses said the boy quietly crawled on to the conveyor belt while Garg and his wife were busy pacifying his sibling. An airport staff member saw the child and pressed the emergency stop switch for the entire baggage movement system.
According to eyewitnesses, any delay in shutting down the system could have turned fatal for the child. “The child could have been seriously injured. He could have slipped off the belt and hurt himself,” said a terminal official requesting anonymity.
“The airport doctor provided medical assistance to the child,” said a Mumbai International Airport Limited spokesperson.
Garg took the child to Nanavati Hospital in Juhu for a check-up. “The child did not have any major injury. He had suffered a minor bruise for which dressing was done,” said Dr Ashok Hatolkar, medical superintendent.
Despite several attempts Garg was not reachable. The family took a later flight to Delhi.
This is the second case of a child getting hurt at the airport in the past nine months. Last April, a two-year-old child and his mother were injured after a motorised floor-cleaning machine hit them.