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Child who got onto airport baggage conveyor belt 'hurt pretty bad'

The 3-year-old boy's mother said he darted off while she tried to print a boarding pass at a kiosk.

ATLANTA — A 3-year-old boy was hospitalized with a hand injury after authorities say he got onto an airport baggage conveyor belt at the Atlanta airport Monday.

A police report from the Atlanta Police Department said a TSA agent flagged down an officer around 3 p.m. to say that a child "that came off the baggage conveyor belt in the bag room" was "hurt pretty bad."

One of the officers went to the Spirit Airlines ticket counter and spoke to the boy's mom. According to the report, the 3-year-old's mom told the Atlanta Police officer that she was holding her son when she walked up to one of the kiosks in the area. She reportedly told officers that she set the boy down to print her boarding pass, and only took her eyes off her son "for one second" and he disappeared. 

The report said the woman ran up to the Spirit Airlines counter and told a ticket agent that she thought her son had jumped onto the bag conveyor belt. The agent stopped the belt, but he said did not see or hear a child. He also said he did not recall seeing the child come behind the counter nor did he see the child jump on the belt. 

In a statement, Spirit Airlines said it appears the child was able to access the baggage belt through a ticket counter that was not open or staffed at the time. According to Spirit, they estimate it was less than 30 seconds from the time the child was at the kiosk until getting on the belt. 

The TSA told 11Alive the child made it all the way down the belt before getting channeled into the line that goes to the TSA baggage room - that is where the child was found. 

Atlanta Fire responders treated the boy's right hand for severe swelling and bruising on scene and took him to Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Scottish Rite Hospital.

Airport officials said the TSA and other partners are assisting with the investigation into the incident. Spirit Airlines said it will be working with TSA and airport officials to ensure all protocol was followed. 

"We wish the child the best in their recovery," the company's statement concluded.

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