A toddler has died after her grandfather allegedly dangled her out of the window of a cruise ship on Sunday.
The 18-month-old girl, who was on vacation with her family from Indiana, is said to have fallen out of an 11th-floor window of a Royal Caribbean Freedom of the Seas cruise ship and onto the pavement where it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
The child was rushed to a nearby hospital at 4:30 p.m. Sunday but was pronounced dead soon after.
Police have identified the grandfather as Salvatorre Anello. He told officers that he “lost his grip while holding her outside a window on the 11th story of the Freedom of the Seas,” Fox Denver 31 reported.
Elmer Román, a member of the local Department of Public Security, told reporters, “Police have now launched an investigation and are trawling CCTV of the ship. At this time (the Division of) Homicide is in place. It has not been possible to interview the family. It is a very strong scene, very sad and tragic.”
He continued, “At one point, one of her grandparents… in an act of games, exposes the girl to the void and falls out of his hands.”
At the time of the toddler’s death, the ship was ending its seven-day journey of the southern Caribbean near Antigua, St. Lucia, and Barbados.
The Puerto Rico Department of Public Safety issued a statement on Twitter Sunday following the tragic incident: “We regret the sad event that occurred on the cruise ship Freedom of the Seas and stand in solidarity with the family of the girl who died.”
A spokesperson from Royal Caribbean told news outlets that they are working with local authorities on the investigation. However, they declined to make further comments out of respect for the family.
“We are deeply saddened by yesterday’s tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family. We’ve made our Care Team available to assist the family with any resources they need. Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident.”