Southwest, BNA under scrutiny after sewage leaks onto at least 2 - WSMV Channel 4

Southwest, BNA under scrutiny after sewage leaks onto at least 200 bags

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About 200 bags were soiled by the sewage leak. (WSMV) About 200 bags were soiled by the sewage leak. (WSMV)
NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

At least 200 bags at the Nashville International Airport were soiled after an overflowing toilet leaked through the floor.

Kassie Clanton said at first Southwest Airlines said her luggage should be fine. Her child's car seat that was destroyed in the sewage leak. She said Southwest got her a new car seat and shipped the suitcase to her this morning.

"It's gross. That's just gross," Clanton said from her mother's home in Arizona. She flew out with her infant son to help her mother recover from a surgery.

Clanton said a representative at Southwest told her the bag didn't smell and that an agent looked through some of it. The airline then sent the bag to Clanton's mother's home Friday morning. Clanton said at first it looked OK from the outside.

"Everything on top was OK, but everything on the bottom of the bag, there were brown stains. Like clear brown stains on lots of it," Clanton said.

She had packed the bag full of necessities for herself and her baby, including a new pack of diapers and baby formula.

"You can see the brown on the tops of the diapers. My makeup bag where my toothbrushes were. I'm not going to use that stuff. I'm never going to use those things again," she continued.

A spokesperson for the Nashville Airport said the problem started around 5:15 a.m. Thursday, when someone in the women's restroom stuffed a toilet with paper towels at the C-terminal where Southwest transports its bags. The sewage leaked into the floor and spilled into the ceiling where at least 200 pieces of luggage were on Southwest Airlines conveyor belts.

Some bags were destroyed. Some were cleaned and sent back to passengers like Clanton.

"People don't realize how sick babies can get from things like this. It's unacceptable. It should have never been brought into our home," Clanton said.

"We deeply regret the mishap with the plumbing," said Tom Jurkovich, Vice President of Strategic Communications and External Affairs at BNA. "We certainly apologize to all who may have been inconvenienced and had other issues with their baggage."

This isn't the first time, BNA has had water leak down onto bags. In June, water seeped down onto luggage. The airport initially thought it was from an overflowing toilet. They later learned the leak was clean water coming from another pipe that was being unclogged.

They say they're now working to stop the problem for good.

"We're instituting some structural changes to the drainage system in that bathroom to a way where this could never happen again," Jurkovich said.

"I want to make sure that I can have my stuff replaced, that I can have a new bag that I can travel home in and safely," Clanton said.

She told News 4 that Southwest is only offering reimbursements for dry-cleaning. She said it has amounted to extra expenses she did not plan for during a trip to take care of her mother.

BNA officials said they are leaving the bag handling to Southwest and are assisting as needed. Southwest operates the affected baggage area, not BNA.

Anyone who has been impacted can call the BNA Information Center is 615-275-1675.

Click here to send comments to Nashville International Airport.

Click here to contact Southwest Airlines.

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