A video shows a passenger on a cruise ship dangling a toddler from an open window for several seconds before losing his grip on her, after which she plunged 11 stories to her death, The Sun-Sentinel reports. The cruise line, Royal Caribbean, says the video proves the passenger knew the danger of the window.
Back in July 2019, as reported at the time by The Inquisitr, the Royal Caribbean vessel Freedom of the Seas was docked at San Juan’s Pan American II port in Puerto Rico. There, Salvatore Anello, the grandfather of 18-month-old Chloe Wiegand, held the girl outside of an open window. Unfortunately, the man lost his grip on the little girl, and she fell 11 stories to the concrete below.
“[The grandfather], whom it would appear was playing with the little girl, lifted her out of the open window and lost his grip,” said Elmer Roman, of Puerto Rico’s Department of Public Security, at the time.
The family later filed a wrongful death lawsuit against Royal Caribbean, alleging that the cruise line was negligent in allowing a window to be left open on a deck where children would be playing.
The cruise line, however, released video footage this week disputing that claim. The cruise line says that the video, which you can see below, shows conclusively that Anello knew that the window was open and dangerous, as he held the lass outside of the window for several seconds before losing his grip on the girl.
WARNING: This video may be disturbing to some viewers.
The cruise line also released still images from surveillance cameras showing the sequence of events leading up to the girl’s death. In one still, Anello could be seen following Chloe as she walked towards the open window. A second image shows the two at the window, while Chloe was still on the floor. Anello himself leans over the railing and out the window for several seconds. In the final still, Anello can be seen picking up Chloe and holding her over the railing and out of the open window.
He held her for 34 seconds before she fell to her death.
“Because Mr. Anello had himself leaned out the window, he was well aware that the window was open. In addition, the windows in question consist of greenish-tinted glass making it open and obvious where a window is open versus closed,” the cruise line says in a legal filing.
The company has asked that the lawsuit be dismissed.