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Young child dies in fall from cruise ship in Puerto Rico

The death occurred on Sunday afternoon at the Panamerican dock in the capital of San Juan.

The Freedom of the Seas cruise ship (Mike Derer/AP)
The Freedom of the Seas cruise ship (Mike Derer/AP)

A one-year-old girl apparently slipped from her grandfather’s hands and fell to her death from a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico, police said.

Police Sgt Nelson Sotelo told The Associated Press that the family of the child will remain in the US territory until the investigation is complete.

He said officers have not been able to interview any relatives yet.

“They’re in shock,” he said.

Authorities said the girl was travelling 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 week-long trip through the Caribbean.

The death occurred on Sunday afternoon at the Panamerican dock in the capital of San Juan.

Sgt Sotelo said the toddler’s maternal grandfather, Salvatore Anello of Valparaiso, Indiana, is under investigation. He said the rest of the family is from Granger, Indiana.

The police chief of South Bend, Indiana, Scott Ruszkowski, confirmed to WSBT television that the girl was the daughter of Officer Alan Wiegand, and the department issued a statement saying it “asks the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy”.

Mr Ruszkowski disputed the statement issued by Puerto Rico police that the girl was being held out of an 11th floor window.

Royal Caribbean Cruises called it a tragic incident and said it was helping the family.

A spokeswoman said the ship departed from Puerto Rico on Monday for St Maarten on a new itinerary and declined further comment.

PA

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