Boy, 9, Unharmed After Riding Conveyor Belt at Minn. Airport: 'Adventure Before the Adventure'
A 9-year-old boy was scooped up by airport police in Minneapolis this weekend after he slipped out of the grip of his family members and onto a moving baggage conveyor belt.
Patrick Hogan, director of strategic communications for Metropolitan Airports Commission, tells PEOPLE in a statement that the incident occurred on Saturday just after 1 p.m. at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.
The boy was traveling in a large group of about 20 people, and as the group began to check their bags, he jumped onto the bag conveyor belt near where it exits ticketing and enters the bag screening and sortation area, Hogan said.
Delta Air Lines personnel who saw the incident tried to reach the boy, but couldn't, so they shut down the conveyor "within seconds."
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"Once that conveyor was stopped, the child moved onto another conveyor in the bag sortation room that was still operational," Hogan said in the statement said. "That belt transported him to the checked bag screening area."
The boy was found by airport police in less than four minutes and was returned to his parents uninjured.
"He got a little adventure before the adventure," Hogan told The Star Tribune.
The spokesman added to MPR News that the situation was a bit chaotic, as the group was so large that no one realized the boy was missing at first.
"There was a lot of confusion," he told the outlet. "They were all checking their bags and putting their own bags on the conveyors, so it took a second for them to realize he was missing – but as soon as they did people sprang into action and the police were able to find him quickly."
Hogan said in the statement that the Metropolitan Airports Commission is investigating the incident, and will work with Delta Air Lines "on options to help prevent a recurrence of the situation."