Parents of 1-year-old girl who fell to her death on ship in Puerto Rico blame cruise line

Parents struggling with death of Chloe Weigand

NEW YORK – The parents of a 1-year-old girl who slipped on a cruise ship and fell to her death this month demanded answers as they spoke to the "Today" show in an exclusive interview.

Chloe Weigand was 18 months old when she died after falling out the window of the ship while it was docked in Puerto Rico earlier this month.

Family members said the girl's grandfather picked her up and placed her on a railing he thought was behind a glass wall. They said he often did the same thing with the girl when they attended hockey games, letting her bang on the glass.

"He was extremely hysterical," Chloe's mother, Kimberly Weigand, said. "The thing that he has repeatedly told us is, 'I believed that there was glass.' He will cry over and over and over. At no point ever, ever, has Sam ever put our kids in danger."

"You can barely look at him without him crying," Chloe's father, Al Weigand, said. "She was his best friend."

The girl's parents said Royal Caribbean should be held responsible for their daughter's death.

"Why on earth is there a window open on the 11th floor without a screen or anything?" Kimberly Weigand said. "Their response to that was, 'We need ventilation.' Well, to that I would say, 'Get a fan. Come up with some other mechanism to make your guests comfortable, rather than creating a tremendous safety hazard that cost our child her life.'"

"There are a million things that could've been done to make that safer," Kimberly Weigand said.

"We are deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts go out to the family," Royal Caribbean officials said in a statement. "We have assisted the authorities in San Juan with their inquiries and they are the appropriate people to address further questions."

Officials with the Puerto Rico Department of Justice said the investigation is in its advanced stages, so they cannot make any comments.

About the Authors: