Grandfather who ‘dropped toddler’ from ship investigated by police

A man is being investigated by police after his granddaughter died when she fell from the 11th-storey deck of a cruise ship.

The one-year-old fell from the Freedom of the Seas when it was docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on Sunday afternoon.

Police said the girl had apparently slipped from her grandfather’s hands but they have not yet been able to interview the family.

Puerto Rico Ports Authority spokesman Jose Carmona said the family was in or near the dining hall and the grandfather had sat the toddler on the window edge.

He said officials were investigating whether the window was already open or if someone opened it.

Authorities said the girl was travelling on a Caribbean cruise with her parents, two siblings and both sets of grandparents.

The family, from Granger, Indiana in the US, is being asked to remain in Puerto Rico until the investigation is over.

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Police sergeant Nelson Sotelo said the family was in shock and the toddler’s maternal grandfather, Salvatore Anello, is under investigation.

The child’s father, Alan Wiegand, is an officer with Indiana’s South Bend Police Department.

The department released a statement asking that “the community to pray for the entire Wiegand family as they grieve and to respect their privacy”.

Reports in Puerto Rico that the girl was being held out of the window were disputed by South Bend police chief Scott Ruszkowsk.

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

A spokeswoman said the ship had left Puerto Rico on Monday for St. Maarten on a new itinerary.

Freedom of the Seas is the 15th largest passenger ship in the world and accommodates around 5,000 passengers and crew.

Source: SKY NEWS

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