Baby dies after falling over T.O. airport balcony
Police say it was a tragic accident that killed a 15-month-old boy Sunday night at Pearson International Airport, when he fell to his death from his mother's arms.
Investigators have ruled that foul play was not involved.
Witnesses at the scene told CTV Toronto that a mother was holding the child with her left arm while carrying a suitcase with her right hand.
The young boy began to squirm and the mom put down the suitcase to get a better grip on her child. But by that time it was too late. The boy plunged two storeys, from the airport's departures level, to the arrivals level.
One man said he saw the child's father running down the escalator immediately after his son fell, at around 7:20 p.m.
"The father came running from upstairs. It looked like it was the longest run of his life," said Brad Givoque. "He kind of fell to the floor as soon as he got right by me."
Other witnesses told CTV Toronto that several people rushed to the boy's aid in an effort to save his life.
"People were right there, trying to save him," said one unidentified woman.
The child was rushed to Etobicoke General Hospital but was soon pronounced dead.
Police say the airport balcony railing is waist-high and meets all safety code requirements.
Brian Patterson of the Ontario Safety League told CTV Toronto that the railing is likely not a safety issue.
"I think the airport's going to do the right thing and do a complete check, but I'd be very surprised if their safety measures fell short at this facility," he said.
The child, who has not been identified by Peel Regional Police, was at the airport with his parents, his four-year-old sibling and his grandmother.
The child has been identified by a family friend as Lucca Romano. His family -- parents Veronica and Flavio Romano and four-year-old brother Massimo -- recently moved to Burlington, Ont., from Winnipeg. They had been preparing to go on vacation to Argentina.
"They were on their way to Buenos Aires ... to do a baptism for Lucca," Guillermo Bellido said, adding they moved to Burlington because Veronica's brother lives there.
A trust fund account has been set up to help with travel and funeral arrangements for Lucca Romano. Cash donations can be made in person at any TD Canada Trust Branch in Canada for 'The Romanos' at the following account #6977-6326978.
With a report from CTV Toronto's John Musselman and files from The Canadian Press