THE mother of a five-month-old girl crushed to death on a Spanish airport conveyor is suing the manufacturer.
Nathania Terry, from Maryland in the United States, had to watch helpless as her child, Vashti, was dragged into the gap between two luggage carousels at Alicante airport last September.
Terry is now taking the Netherlands-based Vanderlande Industries – a global provider of airport luggage systems – to court.
She is desperate to attain damages for wrongful death, negligence, design defects and failure to warn.
The family – Nathania and her two children, Vashti and an older brother – were collecting their luggage at Alicante airport when the tragedy occurred.
“Vashti was sitting in her car seat. Ms Terry placed Vashti’s car seat on a non-moving, or stationary, belt while she reached to retrieve Vashti’s stroller from the end of the belt,” states the court complaint.
“The belt suddenly and without warning turned on, throwing Vashti into a crevice where two different belts abutted.
“Ms Terry frantically tried to rescue Vashti, but her efforts were unsuccessful. Five-month old Vashti was crushed to death on September 18, 2013.”
Terry now claims the conveyor belts, designed and manufactured by Vanderlande, were activated by sensors to detect objects.
She claims that in putting her daughter’s car-seat on the belt, she set it off and there was no way to stop it for an emergency.
There were also no warning signs about activating the conveyor belts.
Spanish authorities assured that the luggage carousel abides by safety standards, in a statement last year.
They insisted that the machine was not to blame, and that all legal standards were complied by.
It was ‘not attributable to the installation [of the machine], designed for the passage of luggage and not for the movement of people…It was due to neglect of those who were in charge of the child’.