SHARJAH // A blind Arab boy, 3, yesterday fell to his death from the 14th floor of a Sharjah block of flats.
The incident happened about 7am at the Al Yarmouk Tower A in Al Najda, close to the border with Dubai.
No details were available on how the child came to fall from the window in the 44-storey tower block but police said they had launched an investigation.
A friend of the boy's father said the child had been blind since birth.
"He fell from the balcony while his mother went down to drop her two children to a school bus," said Ahmed Al Zaabi, who was with the father, Suleiman Jadallah Misleh, since the tragedy.
Mr Al Zaabi said Mr Misleh, who is from Syria, is totally devastated after his son's death.
"He is in a state of shock after the incident. He is even refusing to talk to anyone," he said. "I have been with him since morning. He is totally devastated."
The mother of the boy was admitted to a hospital with shock and has since been discharged, Mr Al Zaabi said. "We are trying hard to console her. It has been difficult."
He said the boy was the youngest of three children and the family had been living in the building for six months.
Neighbours told of their shock at the death, which occurred as many were leaving their homes to go to work.
"It was a frightening scene," said one building resident, who asked not to be identified.
He said a number of police cars were at the site along with an ambulance.
"Police carried the body into the ambulance and did not allow anyone to come near the place," he said.
"Traffic was blocked in front of the building for some time."
Another resident said: "They had lovely kids and we used to see them often. It is shocking to know that one of them had died."
This is the second such incident in less than a week in Sharjah.
On Saturday, an Arab girl, aged 4, fell from the window of a 15th- floor apartment in Al Qassimiya. The girl was alone at her home and father was taken into custody for questioning.
In another incident in September, a mother and her five-year- old son died after falling from the eighth floor of the Jumeirah Lakes Towers Block in Dubai.