Mother 'accidentally smothered baby on plane'

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The Independent Online

Police were today investigating reports that a mother accidentally smothered her four-week-old baby daughter to death on a flight after she fell asleep while breastfeeding.

Crew on the United Airlines jet were alerted by the 29-year-old mother's screams and the flight from Washington DC to Kuwait was diverted to Heathrow Airport on 24 November.

The little girl was taken to Hillingdon Hospital, in Uxbridge, Middlesex, where she was pronounced dead.

Scotland Yard said the death was being treated as "unexplained" and no arrests have been made.

A spokesman said: "Police were called at 9.58am on 24 November to reports of a baby taken ill on a United Airlines flight from Washington DC to Kuwait.

"A four-week-old baby girl was taken to Hillingdon Hospital, where she was pronounced dead at 10.35am.

"A post-mortem examination took place on 27 November at Great Ormond Street Hospital and we're awaiting the results.

"The death is being treated as unexplained and the child abuse investigation team is investigating the circumstances."

He said this was standard practice.