Death of toddler on cruise ship a 'preventable tragedy' family's attorney says

1-year-old Chloe Wiegand died after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Puerto Rico.             
    Michael Winkleman

1-year-old Chloe Wiegand died after falling from a Royal Caribbean cruise ship in Puerto Rico. Michael Winkleman

An 18-month-old IN girl who fell to her death from the 11th story of a cruise ship IN Puerto Rico plunged from a window inexplicably left open IN a children's play area, the family's attorney said Tuesday.

Chloe's grandfather, thinking she'd love to bang on the glass, brought her over to the windows and put her up on a wood railing, according to the attorney.

Following the tragedy, Royal Caribbean stated it was "deeply saddened by yesterday's tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family".

"They're playing in the play zone, and there's this wall of all windows".

"We've all seen where someone walks into glass thinking there's nothing there", Winkleman said. "This is the inverse of that", Michael Winkleman, the lawyer, said on Tuesday.

Officials over the weekend told the Prima Hora newspaper that homicide detectives were looking into the incident and that Chloe's grandfather, identified as Salvatorre Anello, is also under investigation. Chloe is the child of South Bend Police Officer Alan Wiegand, according to the IN police department, and Kimberly Wiegand.

Speaking about the open window, "Why would you have that kind of danger without any sign without any warning without any notice?" The girl's grandfather, Salvatore Anello, apparently lost his grip while holding her near a window on the ship, officials said.

Police Sgt. Nelson Sotelo said officers have not been able to interview any relatives yet because "they're in shock".

"I think Royal Caribbean needs to answer these questions: Why would you ever in a kid's play area put windows that passengers can open?" He said that the toddler loved glass and windows, seeing through to the other side, and her grandfather had placed her on a ledge by a glass wall but had no idea one window within the wall was open. "And then she goes to bang on the glass, and the next thing you know, she's gone", Winkleman said. But Winkleman said it wasn't as if Chloe's grandfather was dangling the child and dropped her.

The South Bend Police Department, where Alan Wiegand is an officer, offered its "sincerest condolences" to the family in a Monday statement - a sentiment later echoed by South Bend Mayor and Democratic Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg.

"I do think there is going to be blame and significant blame on the cruise line, and I will do everything I can to hold them accountable, for what appears to me to be negligence", Winkleman added.

A message was left Tuesday with police in Puerto Rico seeking comment on Winkleman's account of the events leading up to the child's fatal fall.

Chloe's parents are still in Puerto Rico waiting for them to release Chloe's body so they can return home.

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