Indiana Toddler Falls to Death From Docked Cruise Ship in San Juan
The 1½-year-old girl from Indiana was reportedly on a family trip when the incident occurred
A baby girl on board a cruise ship docked in San Juan, Puerto Rico died Sunday after she reportedly slipped from her grandfather’s grip and tumbled out an open window.
The incident, which occurred on the Royal Caribbean ship, Freedom of the Seas, was confirmed on Twitter by the Department of Public Safety of Puerto Rico and by Anthony Maceira, Puerto Rico’s Secretary for Public Affairs.
“Unfortunately the news of an accident [involving] a baby on a cruise is true,” Maceira wrote, referring to the incident as “a real tragedy.” “The [Department of Public Safety] is working the issue with the seriousness and sensitivity required.”
A spokesperson for Royal Caribbean also confirmed the incident in a statement to PEOPLE.
“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,” the spokesperson said. “Out of respect for their privacy, we do not plan to comment further on the incident.”
RELATED VIDEO: 479 Cruise Passengers Airlifted to Safety After Mayday as ‘Chaos’ Aboard Ship Goes Viral Online
NBC-owned news station Telemundo PR reports that the 1½-year-old girl’s grandfather was holding her and accidentally dropped her from an 11th-story window.
Secretary of Public Security, Elmer Roman, told Primera Hora that the girl, believed to be from Indiana, hit an awning as she fell and eventually landed on the pavement on the Pan American dock in San Juan.
Roman explained that the girl was on a family trip with both her maternal and paternal grandparents, as well as a brother and other relatives.
“It’s a very grave scene, very regrettable and tragic,” he told the outlet, according to CBS News. “One of the grandfathers, whom it would appear was playing with the little girl, lifted her out of the open window and lost his grip.”
Witnesses told Telemundo they heard the anguished cries of her family, and that her mother’s cry did “not compare to any other scream.”
Authorities are reportedly investigating, and will rely on interviews with family members and security camera footage to determine what happened.
According to Seascanner, the ship was leaving Sunday for a seven-day cruise to islands like St. Lucia and Barbados. It is currently in St. Maarten, and scheduled to return to San Juan on July 14.