A Surrey toddler is dead after falling from a ninth-floor balcony in Whalley late Thursday evening.
The two-and-a-year-old girl fell off the balcony of the apartment, located at 13353 108th Avenue, while her mother and stepfather and brother were inside. According to police, the girl was apparently playing in a bedroom attached to the balcony when she made her way outside through an open sliding door.
"There were a number of chairs on the balcony and we believe the child started climbing on items on the balcony," said Sgt. Drew Grainger of the Surrey RCMP.
The child is believed to have gotten to a point where she was level with the rail and somehow or another, went over. The toddler then fell 21 metres onto an overhang that covered the front entrance to the apartment building.
Police and paramedics received a number of 911 immediately following the incident and arrived on scene shortly afterwards. The child was then taken to Royal Columbian Hospital in critical condition and was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.
The girl's death comes after two incidents last month in Surrey where toddlers fell out of windows that had been left open and follows an incident earlier this week in Mission where a child pushed out a window screen before falling 20 feet. That child survived with broken bones and head trauma.
According to Grainger, Thursday's tragic incident is another unfortunate reminder that parents need to be mindful of their children when opening windows and balconies to beat the summer heat.
"This is predictable, every year whenever we see the weather warm up we have open windows," he said. "Even with the screens up there's a perceived security but that doesn't exist because those screens are so easily popped out. In this case it was a balcony where there were a number of items that are on a balcony where a child can climb up to and get over the railing.
"It's very tragic and once again, a reminder for us to be mindful of our children when they're in these positions of vulnerability and leaving them unsupervised for any amount of time can lead to tragedy."