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8-year-old girl dies after fall on Carnival cruise ship

By Amy B Wang

October 15, 2017 at 2:41 PM

Escorted by water-squirting tugs, the new Carnival Glory arrives in Cape Canaveral, Fla., on July 11, 2003. (Andy Newman/Carnival Cruise Lines/HO)

Police are investigating the death of a child who fell on a Carnival cruise ship Saturday shortly after it arrived in Miami.

About 8:15 a.m. Saturday, an 8-year-old girl on board the Carnival Glory fell from a deck in the ship’s interior atrium to the lower deck, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

The ship was docked at PortMiami at the time, police said, and had just returned from a seven-night cruise to the Western Caribbean.

“The ship’s medical team responded immediately and the child was transported to the ship’s medical center,” Carnival Cruise Lines spokeswoman Jayme Eglin said in an email. Those on board also alerted Miami-Dade police, she said.

The girl was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital Ryder Trauma Center, less than five miles from the port, where she died, police said.

“Our most heartfelt condolences are with the family at this very difficult time,” Eglin said.

Carnival representatives and police declined Sunday to answer further questions, including whether there was any reason to suspect foul play or exactly where on the ship the fall occurred. The investigation is ongoing, Miami-Dade police said.

At a news conference Saturday, a Miami-Dade Fire Rescue spokesman estimated that the girl fell “about 20 feet.”

Photos obtained by ABC News showed emergency workers and crew members gathered on a lower deck of the ship, reportedly after the girl fell; some held up sheets to shield the scene from view.

The ship was turned back over to Carnival Cruise Lines “to resume normal operations,” police said Saturday. Various travel websites showed that the Carnival Glory was scheduled to depart Saturday on another seven-night cruise to the Western Caribbean.

That departure was delayed by at least two hours, according to tweets from would-be Carnival Glory passengers who were forced to wait.

“Investigators are working closely with Carnival Cruise Lines personnel to determine the details surrounding this incident,” police said in a statement.

Carnival carries more than 4 million passengers per year, more than any other cruise line, according to its website.

The girl’s death was not the first time tragedy had struck the Carnival Glory, which was built in 2003. In 2015, Cameron Smook, a 21-year-old Virginia Tech senior, died after accidentally falling overboard the ship.

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Amy B Wang is a general assignment reporter for The Washington Post.

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