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B.C. toddler’s death from balcony fall a caution to parents, police say

Surrey RCMP are hoping Thursday's tragic death of a toddler who plunged from her family's ninth-floor apartment balcony will remind other parents to be vigilant about open doors and windows during the August heat.

"In this case, obviously, nine stories – devastating," said Sergeant Drew Grainger from the Surrey RCMP. "And completely predictable because we know this happens every year this time of year and it's completely preventable."

The two-and-a-half year-old girl ventured Thursday evening onto the balcony unattended while her parents and 15-year-old sibling were in a different part of the apartment, Sgt. Grainger said. She climbed onto some furniture adjacent to the balcony's railings and slipped over the railing. The toddler fell 21 meters onto an overhang.

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Multiple bystanders called 911 after witnessing the fall from nearby apartments, Sgt. Grainger said. Emergency crews arrived and transported the seriously injured girl to a nearby hospital, where she died shortly after arrival.

Sgt. Grainger is warning parents to be vigilant around open doors and windows. Already this summer, several children have been injured after falling through screen windows in single-family homes.

"Open windows are certainly inviting and make our children vulnerable," he said. "Within minutes – seconds actually – catastrophe can occur."

The RCMP investigated the incident Thursday evening, he said, and does not suspect foul play.

With a report from The Canadian Press

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