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World & Nation

Boston Marathon survivor’s prosthetic leg lost (and found) by American Airlines

Adrianne Haslet-Davis

Timothy Haslet, left, and David Haslet celebrate with sister Adrianne Haslet-Davis as she crosses the finish line of the 118th Boston Marathon in April 2014. A year earlier, Adrianne Haslet-Davis, a professional dancer, lost her leg in the Boston Marathon bombing. 

(Charles Krupa / Associated Press)

Adrianne Haslet-Davis, the professional dancer who lost her leg in the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, sent out an urgent tweet Thursday that attracted a lot of quick attention. American Airlines misplaced her luggage --- with her prosthetic limb inside.

“I have an entire team [depending] on u. Pls respond, been days can’t dance,” she also Tweeted..  

By Friday morning, the airline said it had found the errant baggage and that the dancer will be reunited with it.

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“We’re sorry this happened,” Joshua Freed, a corporate spokesman told the Los Angeles Times. “Her bag has been located and we will reunite her with it as soon as possible.”

Haslet-Davis was near the finish line of the marathon and lost her leg below her knee when the pressure-cooker bombs, set by the Tsarnaev brothers, went off on April 15, 2013. In testimony at Dzhokhar Tsarnaev’s trial last summer, she vividly described how she had crawled to safety after being hit by the second of two bomb blasts, fearing she would die.

Three people were killed in the blasts and more than 260 were injured. Tamerlan Tsarnaev died in the subsequent manhunt; Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who was sentenced to death, is in the Supermax prison in Colorado.

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Less than a year after the attacks, Haslet-Davis returned to the stage, thanks to the special prosthetic leg that allows her to perform.

Lost, misplaced or stolen luggage is the bane of the modern transportation world. It has become especially grating as some cash-strapped airlines have moved to charge fees for luggage. According to the most recent government statistics, however, the number of mishandled bags is decreasing. 

For the first nine months of 2015, 3.3 mishandled baggage reports per 1,000 passengers were filed – down from 3.7 reports per 1,000 passengers during the same period last year, according to the Air Travel Consumer Report, prepared by the federal Department of Transportation. During the 2007 peak in U.S. air travel, 7.2 reports per 1,000 passengers were recorded.

Globally the numbers are different, but the same sharp drop from recent highs were recorded, according to SITA, an aviation communications and technology provider.

“The SITA 2015 Baggage Report showed that the rate of mishandled bags in 2014 was 7.3 bags per thousand passengers, down from a peak of 18.88 bags per thousand passengers in 2007. This decline comes despite a significant rise in passenger numbers over the same time period, peaking at 3.3 billion passengers in 2014,” SITA’s Julius Baumann said in an email.

The vast majority of bags, 80%, are just delayed, according to SITA. Another 14% are damaged or have their contents reported stolen; nearly 6% are lost or gone.

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