4-Year-old girl suffers horrific injuries during a flight, when the plane airbag explodes in her face
People get injured in bizarre ways. Sometimes things can harm you even when you are in the safest of places and that harm or injury will remind you of the unpredictable nature of the life itself.
A 4-year-old girl who was enjoying a flight aboard a Virgin Airlines plane could not have even imagined that she could be harmed with her family and other adults around her, but as life has it, she was harmed in the most bizarre and unfortunate ways ever and the marks of the injuries have not only been left on the body, but also on the mind of the young girl.
Here is what happened to her:
1 Who is the girl?
Four year old Daisy James was traveling aboard a Virgin Airlines airplane along with her grandmother. She was returning from Washington DC to the London airport. The four year old had no idea that her journey back home would be so painful and full of tears.
The girl was injured when the safety airbag that is attached to the seatbelt malfunctioned and deployed while Daisy was secured with the belt. In an emergency crash situation, the sensor in the bag detects a collision and deploys the airbag in order to keep the person safe, by protecting the neck, the head and the chest. But here, some quite opposite happened!
2 What happened?
Somehow the sensors in the bag malfunctioned and mistakenly the airbag attached to Daisy’s seatbelt deployed, giving her serious burns and cuts on her face, right arm and chest. The incident happened in May 2012, when Daisy had visited family in the United States during the holidays according to her mother Gillian James.
When the time came for return journey, Gillian’s grandmother offered to take her home after the holidays. They boarded a Virgin Atlantic Airways flight from the Dulles Airport for Heathrow in London.
The four year old’s grandma called up Gillian and told her that Daisy had grazed her face, but Gillian was not prepared for the sight of her daughter’s swollen face, when she went to the airport to receive her.
3 The injuries
The airbag that is supposed to keep a person safe in emergency caused severe burns and cuts to her face, arm, chest and thigh. Her face was swollen three times its normal size and was red and sore. Daisy’s left arm was in a sling and she couldn’t talk due to the swelling.
Gillian immediately took Daisy to the Virgin Airways desk and paramedics were called in order to treat her daughter. She was immediately rushed to the Cheltenham hospital, where doctors conducted diagnostic tests and gave her morphine for the pain.
The specialist examined her and said that the scarring of the burns will fade away in two years and a child psychologist was called to help Daisy with the nightmares she began to have afterwards the incident.
4 The aftermath
Seeing her daughter’s plight and knowing that the airline was at fault, Gillian took legal help and after a four year battle, Virgin Airways apologized to her and her daughter and admitted liability under the article 17.1 of the Montreal Convention.
The airlines settled with the family for a five figure sum that remains undisclosed. Gillian says that even after four years, Daisy is still stressed by the incident. She says, “Psychologically, she’s really struggling. When she talks about life, this incident is the first thing she talks about. Before, Daisy didn’t know what an accident was. Since, she says, ‘Well if it happened then, it could happen again. Not a day goes by that she doesn’t mention it.”
A Virgin spokeswoman said: “We have expressed our sincere apologies to the family and while it doesn’t lessen the impact of what happened, we have reached a settlement to the family’s satisfaction. We have investigated the incident thoroughly and can confirm that it was an extremely unusual and isolated incident.”