Authorities say a father's prank at a southern New Jersey laundry facility nearly turned tragic when his toddler son briefly got stuck inside an active washing machine.
Now they're hoping to identify and locate the family, so they can ensure that the child wasn't harmed.
The May 11 incident at the Camden business was captured on a surveillance video, which drew millions of hits after being posted on YouTube and other Internet sites.
Beginning: The scene starts with the diaper-wearing toddler looking into a nearby an active machine
Caught: The father is then shown putting the child into the drum of the next washing machine, and the child's diaper is very visible once he is inside the door
It shows the father putting the child in the machine - apparently as part of a 'peek-a-boo' game.
He then shut the door, which locked and started an automatic cycle with the child inside.
The parents frantically pulled on the door for a few seconds as the child continued to spin, then ran to get help.
An employee then quickly unplugged the machine, and the child - who did not appear to be hurt - was pulled to safety.
After determining the child appeared fine, the parents ran out of the business.
Authorities say the matter does not appear to be criminal, but the matter has been referred to the state's Division of Youth and Family Services.
The laundry's owner told Fox 29 TV in Philadelphia that the father's actions were 'ridiculous,' and she was thankful that her employee was able to get the child out of the machine before he was seriously injured.
Epic fail: The couple realise their mistake and tug frantically at the door of the machine
Desperation: A maintenance man looks on without helping as the mother calls for help
She does not know the toddler's parents, but reported the incident to Camden police.
The employee told the TV station: 'I was scared the kid would die, but when I pulled him out and saw he was alive, I was very happy.'
The video shows the couple, at the second bank of machines with a pram sitting behind them, are busy loading up their laundry into the drum.
As the woman, wearing a red and pink checked jacket, sorts through laundry on a table, the man, wearing a blue checked shirt, lifts the small boy and shoves him into the machine, closing the door.
An auto-lock on the door causes their prank to backfire majorly and as their epic fail dawns on them the couple frantically tug at the machine’s door in a desperate bid to free their child.
What appears to be a maintenance man strolls over looking at the couple as their panic intensifies, before wandering off again, waving a hand unhelpfully.
Help! The dad runs off for help and is followed a short time later by the mother
The mother runs out to where she can be seen by others further down the hall, putting her hands over her face and apparently calling out for help.
The dad then sprints off toward the other people while the mother continues to tug at the door handle, before running after him a short time later.
In the distance the mom can be seen waving a hand in the air, as though to gather up other people. She charges back to her machine and baby, followed by the dad and some other Laundromat users.
Distress: One quick thinking man immediately tries to disable the machine, as the father stares into the drum
Success: The man and the father manage to open the door and rush the boy to safety
One quick thinking man yanks a red sorting table away from the back of the machine and tries to disable it from the mains, knocking over a rubbish bin in his haste.
Another woman ambles over with her own children, holding out a white towel.
A crowd gathers to watch the commotion and the man begins jumping up and down. There is no sound on the video but his actions paint a picture of utter panic.
The couple’s shared horror turns to anger at one another, with the woman walking to the table and slamming her hands down onto it in frustration.
Eventually the drum is opened and the boy is pulled out by his father who rushes off out of shot holding him, the mother trailing behind.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2148516/Police-launch-hunt-father-TODDLER-inside-laundry-machine-surveillance-video-captures-incident.html#ixzz1vg68hguF
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