Another child dies in high-rise fall

Four-year-old boy who falls to his death from a 16th floor balcony in Sharjah is the third child to die in high-rise fall in a week.

SHARJAH // A four-year-old boy fell to his death from the 16th floor of an apartment block on Tuesday night, the third child to die in a fall in just one week.

The boy, Ibrahim AJ, an Emirati, fell from the balcony of his home in the Al Sunduss building in Al Khan area near Mamzar Beach at about 8pm, and landed on the 10th floor, police said.

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A police spokesman said that rescue teams were dispatched to the scene, but that the boy had already died by the time they arrived. Police have launched an investigation into the boy's death.

At the weekend, another boy, aged three, died after falling from the 14th floor of a building in Al Nahda area. Police are still investigating that incident.

And a week ago, a four-year-old girl fell to her death from the 15th floor of a building in Al Qassimiya area.

The girl's parents have been charged with negligence because they had left their young children unattended in the flat while they were out shopping. The girl was alone with her one-year-old brother when she fell. Police found that the window from which the girl fell had been left open.

More children have fallen from building in Ajman this year than any other emirate, Dr Abdul Karim Al Halimi, the director of Sheikh Khalifa Hospital's Emergency Department, said in October. Already by then, his department had attended to 15 cases of falls, mostly children.

The Ajman Health Zone director and the director of Sheikh Khalifa Hospital, Hamad Turaym Al Shamsi, called for a study on the causes of and solutions to high-rise falls.

He said many children fell because of family negligence, while falls by workers could largely be attributed to not following safety precautions.

"The unfortunate fate of children falling from their homes can be solved by more awareness safety campaigns on families staying in high-rise buildings," he said. "Children in these buildings were falling from either windows or verandas and these are the main areas to watch for their safety."