The parents of a toddler who died after falling out of a window on a Royal Caribbean Cruise ship are speaking out about the tragedy for the first time since they lost their 18-month-old earlier this month.
In an emotional interview with Today’s Savannah Guthrie, Kimberly and Alan Wiegand talked about their “unfathomable” grief over their daughter, Chloe Wiegand, after she died while aboard the Freedom of the Seas cruise in San Juan, Puerto Rico. They also talked about the hysteria felt by the little girls’s grandfather, Sam, who lifted the child up while in the children’s play area and placed her on the railing of a window, which he believed to be a closed part of a glass wall.
“He was extremely hysterical. The thing that he has repeatedly told us is, ‘I believed that there was glass,’” Kimberly told Guthrie. “He will cry over and over and over. At no point ever, ever, has Sam ever put our kids in danger.”
Alan went on to say that Chloe’s grandfather is “very, very distraught,” and can hardly look at them without crying.
And while Kimberly and Alan are wrestling with their own pain from the loss, they’re also still searching for answers from the cruise company, which they claim was lacking in safety precautions that could have saved her life.
“We obviously blame them for not having a safer situation on the 11th floor of that cruise ship. There are a million things that could've been done to make that safer,” Kimberly said. “I know my mom was asking people, ‘Why on earth is there a window open on the 11th floor without a screen or anything?”
According to the family, the cruise line said that the window was a way to ventilate the area. “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.’” Kimberly said.
The grieving parents are now looking to hold the cruise line responsible with the help of their family attorney, Mike Winkleman, to ensure that this doesn’t happen to another family. “To lose our baby this way is just unfathomable,” Kimberly said.
In a statement sent over to Yahoo Lifestyle, a Royal Caribbean Cruise spokesperson says, “We are deeply saddened by this incident, and our hearts go out to the family. We have assisted the authorities in San Juan with their inquiries, and they are the appropriate people to address further questions.”
The Puerto Rico Department of Justice told NBC News the investigation is in its advanced stages, so it cannot make any additional comments.
“I just know she was destined to do such great things,” Kimberly told Guthrie about Chloe. “But even in her short life, I truly believe she changed so many lives.”
“We’ll never forget her,” Alan added. “She’s part of our soul that’s not there any more.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle: