Girl, eight, who fell from cruise ship: Family demands answers

Zion Smith plunged two storeys on a Carnival Cruise ship after it docked in Miami

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A little girl who fell to her death from a cruise ship has been named as her heartbroken family demanded answers over the tragedy.

Zion Smith, aged eight, plunged two storeys from the vessel's interior atrium after it docked in Miami.

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The youngster was rushed to hospital in an "extremely critical" condition but died a short time later, Miami Department of Fire-Rescue Captain Ignatius Carroll said.

The tragedy happened on board the Carnival Cruise Linesship 'Carnival Glory'

Credits: local10

Zion, from Nassau, in the Bahamas, had just completed a seven-day cruise with her baby brother, their mum, her boyfriend and his family.

One relative, who had spent the day at the hospital before she died, said the girl, named Zion, was only out of their sight a few seconds when the tragedy happened.

The girl's uncle, Damien Fox, told WPLG Local10: "We want answers, and to see surveillance video from inside the cruise ship."

Fox described his niece as a happy, loving, playful straight-A student and active child.

Credits: REX/Shutterstock

He said that some family members on the trip said they believe as a lift door opened, several people were pushing and shoving to get out and that may have caused the girl to get pushed and fall over the railing.

He added that the family would be pursuing legal action.

Passenger Raymond Kassim said he witnessed the aftermath of the child's fall, which happened as they all waited to disembark.

"You heard, 'Oh, my baby, oh, my baby,' and when you looked, she was down at the bottom," he said. "It happened so fast. She just fell over."

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Credits: Christian Science Monitor

A photograph shows crews rushing in to help the girl and later a relative said she was out of their sight for a few seconds when she fell.

Passengers described the frantic effort to save the child.

Tyron McKelvey said: "People started screaming, and people started running everywhere."

Another, Vickie Lewis, said: "If she had landed on the couch, she probably would have had a chance. But she didn't. My heart goes out to the family."

Credits: Reuters

Fellow passenger, Bob Dorr, said he was the first person to start CPR on the girl around 8.15am on Saturday, while a police officer held her neck.

The retired emergency medical technician said: "She had severe injuries.

"I started doing CPR until the doctor showed up, and then the doctor took over," he said.

Investigators with the police department homicide department are working with Carnival Cruise Lines to discover details of the incident, police said.

"We understand that the child may have fallen 20 or so feet from a landing," Miami Fire-Rescue spokesman Capt. Ignatius Carroll said at a news conference Jennifer De La Cruz, vice president of corporate communications with Carnival, said: "Our most heartfelt care and concern is with the family at this very difficult time."


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