(ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – A four-year-old girl was rushed to hospital yesterday afternoon with injuries to the head and face after falling approximately 30 feet from a window at the Sir Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium where she was attending her brother’s wedding reception.
Sherlock St John who was a guest at the event, said he had just arrived at the Stadium around 5:30 pm when he heard children “making noise” and dismissed it as usual child’s play.
He said he stopped to adjust his tie when he heard a “thud” and when he looked around he saw the young girl on the concrete pavement below the window.
“I heard a big heavy sound, like a thud from her falling and it shook me a bit. I looked again and I saw her move and I went to see what was wrong and to find out where she fell from and how. When I looked back up there was the boy completely out the window, hanging from both hands. I told him to go back into the building and he let go,” St John said.
The man, who claimed to be a friend of the couple who tied the knot yesterday, said he lurched forward and caught the boy who is about six years old.
“I fell on one knee but I wasn’t injured but the child was frightened and he looked at the girl and shouted ‘mommy, mommy’ and just ran,” St John recalled.
Another witness said the girl, whose name has not been disclosed, was playing in the stairwell with the other child and it is believed they both climbed out the window.
“He fell after her but he was caught by one of the individuals who was at the stadium. She was bleeding from the head. She had contusions along her mouth as well and abrasions. She was responsive but her heart rate was elevated. She looked to be in serious condition,” the second source said.
Stadium Manager Conliffe Phillip said the window from which the child fell is located in the stairwell between the second and third floors, and it does not open beyond “12 to 14 inches”.
Two ambulances responded to the report of the accident and took the children to the hospital, while the police were also summoned to investigate. Bloodstains remained on the walkway under the window up to late yesterday as the police continued their investigation.
Phillip, who was on the scene, said the incident clearly dampened spirits at the reception which was ongoing in the presidential suite, but once it was determined the injuries did not appearlife threatening, the reception resumed. The children’s parents left with them.
When asked about the safety of the stadium and whether any additional measures would be taken following the incident, the stadium manager said he considers the building to be safe.
He explained that there are rails by the window and added that both children, who were unattended, would have had to creep through the window which he said does not open wider than 12 to 14 inches.
“I would not say there is a safety issue. The windows at the stadium were just recently changed and they open at a minimal, they open upwards,” Phillip said. He estimated the distance from the window to the ground where the child fell is about 30 feet.