The City of Dallas is saying that “Ghost calls” to 911 from T-Mobile phones are clogging the city’s emergency dispatch system and a 6-month-old baby boy’s Mom says this is the reason for her child’s death.
Since November 2016, when some T-Mobile customers have dialed 911, their phones have been spontaneously making multiple calls which have been clogging the system, city officials said.
Police are now investigating whether or not this issue led to the death of Brandon Alex . The babysitter who was watching him at the time, said that she dialed 911 a number of times without getting an answer. The 911 operators returned each of the babysitter’s calls however could not reach her, city officials said.
“He was only 6 months,” the boy’s mother, Bridget Alex, said “It wasn’t his time.”
City officials confirmed that the babysitter used a T-Mobile device. No other cell phone carriers seem to be affected by the “ghost calls” issue apparently.
Mobile CEO John Legere spoke with Dallas City manager T.C. Broadnax and said crews planned to work with the city until the issue was resolved, officials have confirmed.
Alex was attending a funeral when she received a call from the babysitter. The sitter said that Brandon had fallen and was unconscious. However, when she called 911, no one would answer.
“I just want y’all to tell me, why didn’t you respond to my son? That’s all I want to know,” Alex said.
During the time of the incident, emergency operators received a surge in calls, city officials said in a statement. At one time more than 400 calls came in, prompting them to bring in 10 additional call takers.
The boy’s Mom drove home and ended up rushing her son to the hospital, she said while she finally got him medical attention – this was an over an hour after the babysitter’s first 911 call. The baby boy was transferred to a second Dallas-area hospital, where he was pronounced dead, say city officials.
The boy’s cause of death remains undetermined, the Collin County medical examiner’s office said.
In a statement, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said:
“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,”
Although no other carriers appear to be experiencing the “ghost calls” issue, AT&T wireless customers also reported having issues contacting 911 in Dallas and other Texas cities on March 8.
Police departments posted alternative numbers to call in the case of an emergency. AT&T confirmed later that day, that the issue had been resolved.
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