Baby Dies While Babysitter Stuck on Hold With 911: Reports
Reports out of Texas suggest tech problems with 911 contributed to the death of a baby.
A baby in Texas died over the weekend and officials are saying it's possibly due to glitches in a 911 system.
Dallas police are investigating the death of a 6-month-old boy, whose babysitter used her cell phone to call 911 Saturday after she said he had fallen and would not wake up.
According to city officials, so-called "ghost calls" from T-Mobile phones were overwhelming emergency lines at the time.
In a problem that had recurred since November, the city says T-Mobile phones were spontaneously dialing 911 and tying up the call center for up to hours at a time.
At one point Saturday, the city said 422 calls were on hold, CBS News reported.
The baby's mother, Bridget Alex, said the caretaker called 911 three times and was left on hold for more than 30 minutes the final time.
Sadly, Alex was at a funeral for another family member when she got the call from the babysitter.
The mother raced home and drove the boy to the hospital herself. By then, he'd stopped breathing and doctors soon pronounced him dead.
Alex said she blames her son’s death on the City of Dallas and T-Mobile for failing to fix the problem. "At the end of the day, I’m still going to be here hurt, because he’s not going to be here," she said.
In a statement, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings appeared to place the blame on the phone company.
"It is outrageous that T-Mobile still has not resolved the ghost call issue that is putting Dallasites in danger by clogging our 911 system," Rawlings said. "I’m in full agreement with our city manager that our citizens deserve better. This issue not only puts paying T-Mobile customers at risk, but it jeopardizes the safety of people throughout our city.
"It’s encouraging that T-Mobile will finally be sending top engineers to Dallas tomorrow morning. I can only assume that they will work around the clock until they figure out how to fix this issue," the statement read.
T-Mobile also released a statement but gave no timeline for when the glitch would be fixed.
"We remain completely committed to solving this issue and have been working daily with the Dallas [911 center] to find a permanent solution to this problem. We are increasing our efforts and bringing in additional engineers to Dallas to further collaborate with the [911 center] team. These top engineers will not rest until the problem is resolved," the statement said.
While awaiting a fix, city officials urged 911 callers to use alternatives to their T-Mobile phones.
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