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T-Mobile 'ghost calls' to 911 linked to two deaths in Dallas

The carrier's engineers aren't leaving the city until the problem is resolved.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

911 outages as a result of cellphones have been a problem before, especially for T-Mobile, and it looks like the issue still hasn't been resolved. In the past week, an infant and an adult male died as a result of calls to 911 not being handled promptly, according to the Dallas Morning News. When a T-Mobile customer calls 911 in Dallas, the publication says that the phone will continuously dial 911 and the call center registers them as hang-ups. The 911 dispatchers need to then call the numbers back to verify the calls, which in turn means legitimate callers are placed on hold.

Six-month-old Brandon Alex died when his babysitter couldn't reach 911 in a timely fashion. Phone records show that Alex's babysitter was on hold for 31 minutes. It took 20 minutes for 52-year-old Brian Cross' husband to get through to a dispatcher, and an hour after Cross arrived at a hospital, he was pronounced dead.

Regional news station WFAA reports that this past Saturday, 442 callers were put on hold for an average 38 minutes. CBS DFW says that T-Mobile engineers arrived in Dallas Wednesday morning to fix the problem. Reports aren't clear if this is exclusively T-Mobile's fault, but CEO John Legere told Dallas city manager T.C. Broadnax that the engineers would "stay in the city until the issue is resolved."

We've reached out to T-Mobile for additional information and will update this post should it arrive.

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