Executives for T-Mobile and Dallas city officials accepted responsibility Wednesday for the ongoing 911 call center problems that many blame for the death of a 6-month-old boy, reports KXAS-TV, an NBC News affiliate.
“Clearly we share this obligation, this responsibility with the city management leadership as well as the mayor’s office in a very sincere and deep way,” said T-Mobile Executive Vice President David Carey.
So-called unintentional “ghost calls” from T-Mobile phones to Dallas’ 911 call center were first detected in October and spike in November, city officials acknowledged. These spontaneous calls sometimes flood the center for hours and prevent legitimate emergency calls from getting through to dispatchers.
Many are blaming the ghost calls for the tragic death of Bridget Alex’s infant son, Brandon, on Saturday.
According to a CBS News report, Alex was at a funeral when Brandon’s young babysitter called to say the infant had fallen and would not wake up. The caretaker told Alex that she had been desperately trying to reach 911, but no one was answering the phone. The mother rushed home and drove her son to the hospital, but it was too late.
CBS said Alex blames city officials and the mobile phone company for Brandon’s death. They’ve known about the problem for months and failed to fix it.
“At the end of the day, I’m still going to be here hurt, because he’s not going to be here,” Alex said. “I’m not going to get to see him or smell him or touch him or kiss him ever again.”
City officials are remorseful for the tragedy but do not accept responsibility for the death, KXAS-TV reported.
“I’m sorry and we are going to do better as a city,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said, according to KXAS-TV. “We need immediate answers and we need to do everything we can to fix this.”
T-Mobile released this statement, via CBS News:
“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.”
Brandon’s family launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the cost of the child’s funeral.