Little girl survives 5-storey fall from Richmond highrise
Published Friday, July 14, 2017 8:09AM PDT
Last Updated Friday, July 14, 2017 6:27PM PDT
An investigation is underway into how a young girl ended up falling five storeys from a Richmond highrise Wednesday afternoon.
The child plummeted about 17 metres from the seventh floor of the Panorama Place building onto a gravel canopy. Miraculously, her injuries were not life-threatening.
A family that lives on the second floor of the Granville Avenue property discovered her after hearing her hit the canopy.
"It sounded like something may have fell down in the apartment," said Stepan Larichev, who comforted the girl as his mother called 911.
"I was thinking if the girl was dead… but she was alive."
The child attempted to stand up on her own but couldn't, Larichev said.
"The girl said she needed a Band-Aid, and I said it's OK, you will get a Band-Aid," he told CTV News.
Paramedics, firefighters and police arrived around 3 p.m. and took the child, who RCMP believe is under the age of six, to hospital.
The investigation into what happened is still in the early stages, and it's unclear how and why the little girl fell. There was a paper airplane seen on the canopy where she landed.
Larichev thinks she may have fallen trying to get to the plane. He said he didn't notice any panicked parents coming down to look for the child in the aftermath.
"It was chaotic and it was kind of scary. I wonder what would have happened if no one was home," he said
The RCMP said there are multiple agencies involved in the investigation.
Ian Pike, a doctor with the Community Against Preventable Injuries, said the child is "very fortunate to have not been very seriously injured or even fatally injured.
"We have seen some tragic falls from heights that were much lower."
He said injuries from falls skyrocket when the weather warms up, and caregivers need to be vigilant. He also warned that window screens aren't enough to keep a child from falling.
"Make sure that furniture and toys are not left there so the child can actually get up high enough to go over the balcony rail," Pike said.
"This is something that parents need to closely watch for, and if indeed a child is playing on the balcony, be there to supervise or to enjoy their company."
He added that adults may not realize that young children don't have the same depth perception, and may not realize how far up they are.
With files from CTV Vancouver's Allison Tanner and Penny Daflos