2-year-old injured after taking ride on Atlanta airport conveyor belt

The child gained access to the conveyor belt via the Spirit Airlines counter.

July 24, 2019, 6:09 PM

A 2-year-old boy was injured after he sneaked past an airport counter and ended up on a baggage conveyor belt, according to his mother and airport officials.

The boy's mother, Edith Vega, set him down for a moment on Monday afternoon to print out a boarding pass at a kiosk near the Spirit Airlines counter at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport when the toddler took off, Vega told ABC Atlanta affiliate WSB-TV.

By the time she looked up, it was too late, and her son, Lorenzo, was moving away on the belt, Vega said.

“He just went a long ride away," she said. "I couldn’t even catch up.”

PHOTO: A conveyor belt is pictured at an airport in this undated stock photo.
STOCK PHOTO/Getty Images

Vega said she "wanted to jump in and try to get him," but airport staff would not allow her. The worried mother's only option was to try to remain calm and wait it out.

"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 said.

The Spirit Airlines counter was not open at the time and, therefore, no staff members were behind the counter, an airline spokesperson told ABC News.

The belt was not moving when the child accessed it, but it is pressure-activated, so when he placed his hand on top it began to move and carried him away, a spokesperson for the Atlanta airport told ABC News.

Lorenzo's journey on the belt was full of twists and turns, and it ended five minutes later in the TSA baggage room, Vega said.

His right arm was fractured in the incident, Vega said. It is unclear how he sustained the injury.

Atlanta Fire and Rescue then took the pair to a local hospital following the incident.

"I’m thankful he’s alive," Vega said. "I’m just grateful he’s here. I just hope he gets better.”

The TSA and airport officials are investigating the incident.

ABC News' Mina Kaji and Steve Osunsami contributed to this report.