Chilling new photos have emerged of the scene where a toddler died after falling from a cruise ship window as her family prepares to launch legal action.
Chloe Wiegand, from the US state of Indiana, fell to her death in July after her grandfather lifted her to the window on Royal Caribbean’s Freedom of the Seas ship while the vessel docked in Puerto Rico.
She would have turned two this week.
Her mum Kim Wiegand told reporters the family should be celebrating the toddler’s birthday but are still in mourning.
“We should be celebrating with presents and a birthday cake, but instead we are talking about her death,” she said.
Ms Wiegand said she spends time with her daughter’s urn every night.
New photos have been released by the Wiegand family’s lawyer Mike Winkleman showing the window where Chloe fell.
The family filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against Royal Caribbean Cruises, accusing the company of negligence by allowing the window to be opened.
The lawsuit contends that the company violated industry standards by failing to provide reasonably safe windows in an area where children play on the ship.
The wrongful death lawsuit was filed in US District Court in Miami. It seeks an unspecified financial award.
A Royal Caribbean spokesman said the company had no comment on the lawsuit.
Grandfather maintains innocence
Chloe’s grandfather, Salvatore Anello, has been charged in Puerto Rico with negligent homicide.
Anello insists he’s colourblind and didn’t know the 11th floor window in the children’s play area was open. He said he believed he was lifting Chloe so that she could bang on the glass like at a hockey game.
He told CBS News his granddaughter’s death is “unbelievable”.
“It’s like it disappeared. It’s like the glass disappeared,” he told CBS News.
“I am colourblind. I’ve been told that that’s the reason that it might have happened.”
Mr Anello said the family is heartbroken.
“But our family is strong and we will stay strong together,” he said.
He is due in a Puerto Rico court on December 17.
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