Infant Overheats Aboard Delayed United Airlines Flight

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While on a grounded flight destined for Texas, a mother from Colorado said she thought her son was going to die in her arms – as temperatures in the cabin spiked.

Emily France’s 4-month-old baby boy Owen had to be hospitalized after overheating on a United flight waiting to depart from Denver International Airport.

France and her son boarded United Airlines flight 4644 around 1:20 p.m. on Thursday, expecting to take off 30 minutes later.

While sitting in her assigned seat at the back of the plane, France said the cabin was already noticeably hot.

A heatwave in Colorado brought on record-breaking temperature just under 100 degrees. The National Weather Service said the temperature on Thursday was about 90 degrees.

“There was just hot air coming from the vents,” France told the Denver Post.

After the flight was delayed due to refueling and a reroute caused by bad weather, France said she tried to cool her son using wet wipes. Eventually, flight attendants brought France and another mother ice to press against their children’s bodies.

France was allowed to get off the aircraft for approximately 20 minutes but was then asked to return for takeoff. Once back on board, the plane pushed away from the gate, however with temperatures still sweltering, things continued to worsen.

“His whole body flashed red and his eyes rolled back in his head and he was screaming,” France told the paper. “And then he went limp in my arms. It was the worst moment of my life.”

France said that she and other passengers begged to return to the gate, but ground and air crews seemed to be debating how to best handle the situation.

“This should never have happened,” United Airlines said in a statement to NBC News. “We are profoundly sorry to our customer and her child for the experience they endured. We are actively looking into what happened to prevent this from occurring again.”

United said that the pilot returned to the gate as the crew called for paramedics and Medical care was provided to Owen 16 minutes after the captain asked that paramedics be called, the airline.

France estimated that she and Owen were on the plane for approximately 2 hours.

France said her son was released from the hospital and at home the day after the incident took place and said the airline appeared completely unprepared to handle the situation.


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