The US man whose one-year-old granddaughter plunged to her death from a cruise ship could face criminal charges in the tragedy — as the family denies initial reports of the baby slipping from the man’s grip.
Chloe Wiegand’s family blames cruise liner Royal Caribbean for what they say was negligence in her fatal fall last Sunday from the docked boat in Puerto Rico, the Today show in the US reported, according to the New York Post.
Chloe Wiegand died after she fell from the window of a cruise ship. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
The toddler was on vacation with her parents, two siblings and both sets of grandparents when she fell from a window on the 11th floor to the concrete on the Pan American dock II in San Juan, officials said.
Local officials told El Vocero, a Puerto Rican newspaper, that Anello and Chloe’s parents had to be sedated afterwards because they were so distraught.
The open window where baby Chloe Wiegand fell. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
“Why in the world would you leave a window open in an entire glass wall of windows in a kids’ area,” the family’s lawyer, Michael Winkleman, said.
“Why would you have that kind of hidden danger without any warning, without any sign, [or] without any notice?”
Authorities said Chloe Wiegand was “playing a game” with her grandfather. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
The baby’s grandfather Salvatore Anello reportedly had to be sedated after the tragedy. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
Her maternal grandfather, Salvatore Anello, is under investigation to determine whether negligence charges should be filed against him, US station WSBT reported.
Local authorities reported that Anello lost his grip while holding the little girl — but the family said that he seated her on the ledge without any knowledge that the window was open.
Chloe Wiegand with her mother, Kimberly. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
“I think there is going to be blame and significant blame on the cruise line and I’m going to do everything I can to hold them accountable for what appears to be negligence,” Mr Winkleman said.
Authorities at the scene. Picture: SuppliedSource:Supplied
He said the family, who are still in Puerto Rico, want to “shine a light” on the kind of child Chloe was.
“She was such a happy and loving child,” he said.
The family spoke to prosecutors on Monday in Puerto Rico and are eager to get home, Mr Winkleman added.
“They want to get home as quickly as possible. Chloe’s body was going to be released today, they were working with authorities. They want to leave immediately.”
Salvatore Anello was holding his granddaughter before her death. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
The toddler’s parents Kimberly and Alan Wiegand. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
He added that Royal Caribbean was “helping” the family with hotels and flights until they can return to the US mainland.
Prosecutors have also asked for security footage from the ship and are speaking to witnesses.
They said that Mr Anello had been playing a “game” with his granddaughter when she slipped out of his arms.
Chloe Wiegand with her grandfather and a woman thought to be her grandmother. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied
Royal Caribbean said in a statement: “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.”
The family’s lawyer Michael Winkelman said their was “significant blame” on the cruise ship. Picture: NBCSource:Supplied
— with the New York Post