All Black Vaea Fifita’s young son injured in Airport conveyor belt incident

Na’e lavea foha ta’u 1 ‘o e tangata ‘Olopeleki Tonga ko ia ko Vaea Fifita hili ha’ane mo’u heka’ ‘ana he leta takai fetuku kato ‘a e mala’evakapuna’ ‘i he ‘aho Tu’apulelulu’ taimi 3 efiai. Na’e iku e foha’ ni ki fale mahaki ‘o fai hono ki’i tafa ka ne faingamālie pe.

All Black Vaea Fifita’s 1-year-old son, Paula, was injured in an incident at Auckland International Airport on Thursday.

Paula, was carried by a conveyor belt at check-in into Auckland Airport’s luggage handling system at 3pm before security discovered him.

Fifita on Friday thanked airport staff and emergency services for their support.

“He had an operation on his arm and is doing okay,” Fairfax media reports.

Paula was earlier said to be 2 years old, but will turn 2 this month, according to a tweet from the All Blacks.

The incident left him injured and he was in a stable condition in hospital early Friday morning, according to a spokeswoman for Auckland Airport.

Last weekend Fifita posted on Facebook that he was enjoying time with his two boys before they left New Zealand for Tonga this week.

Fifita was named as a reserve for the All Blacks match against France on Saturday night at Eden Park and a spokesperson for the All Blacks confirmed on Friday afternoon that he would take his place in the team on Saturday.

Two investigations have been launched into the incident, one on behalf of Aviation Security (Avsec) and another by Auckland Airport, a spokeswoman for Auckland Airport said.

The incident was at a normal check-in counter and did not involve an automated bag drop, the spokeswoman said.

Qantas and Air New Zealand said their airlines were not involved in the incident according to spokespeople from both airlines.

Fifita, 25, was born in Tonga and moved to New Zealand to take up a rugby scholarship at Tamaki College.

He was named as an All Black in 2017 for the British and Irish Lions tour of New Zealand and played his first test in September against Argentina after which coach Steve Hansen said Fifita was “probably one of the best athletes” he had anything to do with.

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