Toddler Aboard American Airlines Flight Struck By Oxygen Tank

A one-year-old child was hit by an oxygen tank aboard an American Airlines Flight while travelling from Hong Kong to Dallas. Pictured, American Airlines hangers at LaGuardia Airport in New York City, Dec. 8, 2010. Photo: Getty Images / Bruce Bennett

By Riddhima Kanetkar, IBT

American Airlines is currently investigating an incident involving a 1-year-old toddler who was hit in the head by an oxygen tank that fell from the ceiling during a flight from Hong Kong to Dallas/Fort Worth Airport.

The boy’s 33-year-old mother, Jennifer Zanone, said the incident occurred on American Airlines flight AA126 around 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, Star-Telegram, a Fort Worth-based daily, reported.

Zanone, a Denver native, said as soon as the plane landed, an entire ceiling panel above seat 35L including a tank full of oxygen fell on her son, who was sitting on her lap. She added the staff in the airplane asked her to wait for a gate agent so the accident can be well documented but no one showed up.

"We stood there waiting for an agent and our stroller until the captain himself walked off the flight and apologized to us. After leaving the gate area, we went to the next customer service area to try to report the incident and were given the run around for an hour and a half. While the apologies were appreciated, documentation of the incident would have been preferred,” Zanone said. 

In response to Zanone’s complaints, American Airlines issued a statement via email, saying flight attendants offered to call a medical personnel upon arrival but Zanone refused.

“American’s primary concern is for the Zanone family and their young child. Our customer relations team has spoken with Mrs. Zanone to offer additional support and obtain details of what transpired at Dallas/Fort Worth yesterday. Customers trust us to take care of them and we take that responsibility seriously," the statement read.

When asked if she declined any medical assistance, Zanone said she only did so because she was frustrated with the airlines lack of response

"We were offered medical assistance immediately following the incident and we did decline because I didn’t know what the medic could do on site with a jet-lagged, exhausted child so I chose to monitor himself until I could get him back to his own doctor," said Zanone.

However, she said the airline responded to her once she posted a picture of the fallen ceiling on her Twitter account.

“They called me this morning (Sunday) simply saying that they would email me more info. I have not received any emails at this time so I am not certain what additional assistance we were offered.”

As of now, Zanone has confirmed her son is doing quite well since the accident occurred and she has not filed a lawsuit against the airlines in hopes of getting a resolution soon.

"He is acting himself today. All I want is for documentation of the incident, which the flight attendant assured me would be performed,” she added.

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