Family of girl who fell to death on cruise ship searching for answers

The great uncle of an 8-year-old girl who died after falling two stories on a Carnival Cruise ship Saturday said the family is searching for answers in the girl’s death.

“We want answers, and to see surveillance video from inside the cruise ship,” Damien Fox, the girl’s uncle, said.

The Miami-Dade Police Department said Zion Smith fell from a deck inside the Carnival Cruise Line’s Glory ship’s interior atrium to the lower deck while docked at PortMiami. The ship had just arrived from a week-long trip and passengers were disembarking when the incident happened about 8:15 a.m.

Miami Department of Fire-Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said paramedics took Zion to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in extremely critical condition. She was reported to be dead a few hours later.

Fox described the girl, Zion Smith, of Nassau, Bahamas, as a happy, loving, playful straight-A student and active child.

Zion and her baby brother traveled with their mother, her boyfriend and his family on a vacation.

Fox said some of the family members who were on the trip said they believe as an elevator door opened, several people were pushing and shoving to get out and that may have caused the girl to get pushed and fall over the railing. He said no matter what, the family will be pursuing some sort of legal action.

Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said investigators were working closely with the cruise line to determine the details surrounding the incident.

“Our most heartfelt care and concern is with the family at this very difficult time,” Carnival Cruise Lines’ Jennifer de la Cruz, the vice president of corporate communications, said in a statement.

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Girl dies after falling in cruise ship at PortMiami

A girl died Saturday after falling from a deck in a Carnival Cruise Line ship’s interior atrium to the lower deck at PortMiami, according to the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Miami Department of Fire-Rescue Capt. Ignatius Carroll said the 8-year-old girl fell about two stories inside the Carnival Cruise Line’s Glory ship. The ship had just arrived and everyone was disembarking after a week-long trip when the girl fell about 8:15 a.m. 

Bob Dorr, a passenger and retired former emergency medical tech, said he was the first person to start CPR on the girl, while a police officer held her neck. Carroll said paramedics took her to Jackson Memorial Hospital’s Ryder Trauma Center in extremely critical condition. 

A few hours later, Miami-Dade police Detective Alvaro Zabaleta reported the girl was dead. He also said in a statement investigators were working closely with Carnival Cruise Lines personnel “to determine the details surrounding this incident.”

The ship had been turned over to the company by Saturday afternoon. Carnival Cruise Lines’ Jennifer de la Cruz, the vice president of corporate communications, released a statement with Zabaleta’s help. 

“Our most heartfelt care and concern is with the family at this very difficult time,” De la Cruz wrote. 

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12-foot python hiding in Irma debris shocks Coconut Grove residents

Hurricane Irma brought winds, rains and, reportedly, a 12-foot python to South Florida last month.

The Miami Herald reports the slithering snake was hiding in a pile of debris left in front of a Coconut Grove home.

When a removal crew began picking up the debris in front of Valeri Ricordi’s home Tuesday, the python slinked out from under the pile.

Ricordi, who was watching it all unfold with her son and mother-in-law, claims she screamed when she first saw her new neighbor.

“It was terrifying,” Ricordi told the Herald. “Who knows what could have happened.”

A bulldozer driver attempted to scoop up the snake with the bucket, but accidentally killed it instead.

A biologist at the University of Florida told the Herald it was possible that the python made its way to the Coconut Grove neighborhood through canals from the Everglades.

Others reportedly told Ricordi the snake probably arrived through Biscyane Bay via Irma’s storm surge.

Ricordi is putting the dead snake to good use as she’ll have it skinned and tanned by a taxidermist, and then donated to the school where her sister teaches science.

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Man, 90, still displaced after tree crushes home during Irma

Despite a claim filed with the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a man remains homeless even one month after Hurricane Irma.

“I ain’t got nowhere else to go,” said Oscar Adderly, 90, whose home of 50 years was crushed by a tree during last month’s storm.

The tree still sits in the same spot after crashing through Adderly’s bedroom and bathroom. Adderly’s daughter, Lorraine Williams, said she filed a claim for him the day after the hurricane.

“It’s hard for him,” Williams said. “It’s hard for him because he’s used to his own place.”

The Adderlys said they haven’t heard back from FEMA. Wait times have been two to three hours, and every time Williams gets close, the phone line disconnects, she said. 

Adderly is in a tough predicament because he’s without insurance.

The tree belongs to his neighbor, who is insured, but he can’t afford the deductible. The family is desperate.

“It’s crazy,” Williams said. “It’s ridiculous. It’s sad. He’s 90 years old.”

Local 10 10 called FEMA. Adderly and his family were able to meet with FEMA officials Wednesday.
At last check, the family planned on arranging for someone to come out and cut the tree out of the house in the coming days. A FEMA adjuster is expected in about two weeks, relatives said.

FEMA officials said the delay was likely due to a paperwork issue.

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