Girl slips from grandfather's arms, falls to her death on cruise ship

Incident occurs on Royal Caribbean's Freedom of the Seas

File photo.
File photo.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – A 1-year-old Indiana girl slipped from the arms of her grandfather, who was holding her up to an open window on a Royal Caribbean cruise ship, and fell 11 stories to her death, according to officials.

The incident occurred Sunday afternoon at the Panamerican dock in the capital of San Juan.

Police said Monday that the grandfather told officers he lost his grip while holding her outside a window on the 11th story of the Freedom of the Seas. The grandfather was identified as Salvatorre Anello.

The girl hit an awning before landing on pavement at the dock, an official said.

"It's a very grave scene, very regrettable and tragic," said Elmer Roman, of the Puerto Rican Department of Public Security. "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."

Owen Torres, corporate communications manager for Florida-based Royal Caribbean, said the cruise operator was "deeply saddened by (the) tragic incident, and our hearts go out to the family."

No further details have been released. An investigation is ongoing.