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Grandfather charged in toddler’s fatal fall from cruise ship

Click to play video: 'Family of toddler killed after falling off cruise ship demand answers'
Family of toddler killed after falling off cruise ship demand answers
WATCH: The lawyer representing the family of a toddler who died after falling off a cruise ship blamed the cruise line for what happened in July – Jul 10, 2019

The grandfather of a U.S. child who died after falling off a cruise ship in Puerto Rico has been charged with manslaughter in connection with the tragic incident.

Salvatore “Sal” Anello, of Indiana, has been charged with negligent homicide, according to a statement released by the Puerto Rican Department of Justice. A judge in San Juan ordered Anello’s arrest and set his bail at US$80,000, the governor’s office said.

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The charges stem from the accidental death of Chloe Wiegand, an 18-month-old who fell from the 11th floor of a cruise ship docked in Puerto Rico on July 7. The incident happened on the Freedom of the Seas, a cruise ship run by Royal Caribbean.

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The toddler was on the trip with her parents, two siblings and both sets of grandparents, police said at the time — Anello was her maternal grandfather.

The family’s lawyer, Michael Winkleman, has said Chloe was perched on a railing in a play area before the fall. Anello held the girl up to bang on what he thought was glass, Winkleman said. The girl was used to banging on the glass at her older sibling’s hockey games. However, there was no glass in front of the girl, and she fell.

Click to play video: 'Grandfather thought there was glass wall where toddler fell to death on cruise ship: attorney'
Grandfather thought there was glass wall where toddler fell to death on cruise ship: attorney

The family is blaming Royal Caribbean for the death.

“Clearly this was a tragic accident and the family’s singular goal remains for something like this never to happen again,” Winkleman said in a statement to CNN on Monday.

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Anello is due to appear in court on Nov. 20.

With files from The Associated Press

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