A five-month-old baby has died after becoming trapped in the baggage collection conveyor belt at a Spanish airport following a flight from Gatwick Airport in the UK.

The child's American mother flew into Alicante-Elche airport with her baby and another young child on a flight from London, sources at the airport said.

She placed the child inside a baby carrier on a stopped heavy baggage collection belt, which was activated by the weight, setting it in motion.

Her Canadian husband was waiting for the family in the arrivals zone when the incident happened.

The family were reportedly in Spain for a holiday in the nearby resort town of Denia on eastern Spain's Costa Blanca.

A Guardia Civil spokesman said: "We are still in the early stages of the investigation and looking at CCTV footage, but it seems that it was an accident.

"The mother left the baby on the conveyor belt, which can be activated by detecting weight or by an airport employee.

"It seems that the baby carrier's weight activated the belt and the child was trapped in the rollers in the drop zone."

The tragic scene was first attended by Guardia Civil officers on duty at the airport, who alerted emergency services.

Despite attempts to resuscitate the baby, he was pronounced dead by the airport's on call doctor at the scene.