Toddler Dies After Fall From Royal Caribbean Ship Docked In Puerto Rico - NBC Chicago
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Toddler Dies After Fall From Royal Caribbean Ship Docked In Puerto Rico

The young girl's family is from Indiana – the daughter of a police officer

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Toddler's Death Raises Questions About Cruise Safety

    A 1-year-old girl's deadly fall from a cruise ship is raising questions about ship safety. NBC 6's Amanda Plasencia reports.

    (Published Tuesday, July 9, 2019)

    A young girl died Sunday after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico, officials confirmed.

    Telemundo Puerto Rico reports the 1-and-a-half-year-old girl was being held by her grandfather when she slipped out of his arms and plunged from the 11th floor of the Freedom of the Seas ship to the concrete on the Pan American dock II in San Juan.

    The South Bend Police Department in Indiana confirmed the child was the daughter of one of their officers.

    The police department offered "its sincerest condolences to Officer Alan Wiegand and his family during this difficult time following the tragic loss of their child while in Puerto Rico."

    Authorities said the girl was traveling with her parents, two siblings and two sets of grandparents aboard the Freedom of the Seas, which docked in Puerto Rico on Sunday after a weeklong trip through the Caribbean.

    Police Sgt. Nelson Sotelo told The Associated Press the toddler's maternal grandfather, Salvatore Anello of Valparaiso, Indiana, is under investigation. He said the rest of the family is from Granger, Indiana.

    Puerto Rico's Department of Public Safety said numerous agencies were dispatched to the incident on Sunday.

    "We regret the sad event that occurred on the Freedom of the Seas cruise and we sympathize with the family of the girl who died," the department said in a statement.

    Puerto Rico's secretary for public affairs said the agency is "working on the case with the seriousness and sensitivity it requires."

    "Unfortunately, the news of a baby's accident on a cruise ship is true," Public Affairs Secretary Anthony Maceira Zayas wrote on Twitter. "We pray God fills with strength this family who is living today a real tragedy."

    In a statement, Royal Caribbean said it dispatched a Care Team to assist the child's family.

    "We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family," Royal Caribbean's communications manager Owen Torres wrote in a statement. "Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident."