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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–The grandfather who lost grip on his granddaughter as she fell from a cruise ship window, thought there was glass in the window, said his attorney, Michael Winkleman, of the law firm Lipcon, Margulies, Alsina and Winkleman.

“There’s a wood railing. He puts her up on there thinking she’s gonna bang on the glass and it’s gonna be great, and she goes to bang on the glass and the next thing he knows, she’s gone,” said Winkleman at a Tuesday morning news conference.

Winkleman, whose law firm represents people involved with incidents with cruise lines, spoke to the grandfather, Salvatore Anello, of Valparaiso, by phone. He said the family is still in Puerto Rico, where the incident occurred, at the Panamerican dock in the capital city of San Juan.

“They’re waiting for them to release Chloe, the body, to go,” he said. Chloe Wiegand, the daughter of South Bend police officer Alan Wiegand, was 18 months old. She fell 11 stories when her grandfather lost grip.

“The opportunity I had to speak with Sam (Salvatore Anello) was one of the harder conversations I’ve ever had as an attorney. He was literally telling me the story through tears and he literally thought there was glass there and he thought she was going to bang on the glass like she was at a hockey game like she loved to do with her brother.”

He indicated that he believed Royal Caribbean cruise line may have been at fault.

“I think Royal Caribbean needs to answer this question: Why would you ever in a kids play area, put windows that passengers can open?”

Winkleman said that it was a preventable tragedy, but that Royal Caribbean bears the responsibility.

“We’ve all had that experience where someone walks into a glass sliding door thinking it’s not there. This is the inverse of that and it was reasonable for Sam, the grandfather, to think that this was all glass because from his perspective it was all glass.”

Winkleman said the responsibility for the cruise line is to warn people, especially in play areas, like the area where Wiegand fell.