Girl, 3, dies in Sheffield flats fall
Thursday 28 June 2012
A mother watched in horror as her two-year-old daughter plunged to her death from the fourth floor of a block of flats.
The girl, named locally as Rayaheem Banimuslim, fell from North Bank apartments on Willey Street, Sheffield, at 4.30pm yesterday.
The youngster was taken to Sheffield Children's Hospital, where she died from her injuries.
A family friend said the girl's mother watched as her daughter fell through an opening on the balcony, caused after a glass panel was smashed.
Baseem Alsabbagh, 36, said the girl was playing on the balcony in the sunshine.
He said her mother was close by but unable to prevent the youngster plunging about 60ft to her death.
"She watched her fall down. I can't describe it. She was playing with other kids nicely. Her mother saw her fall down."
He said the family was from Iraq and the father, Hikmat, was studying for a PhD at Sheffield Hallam University.
He said the family moved to the block of flats last September, where six Iraqi families were living.
"They are heartbroken. She was a lovely, beautiful baby. They never expected this to happen," Mr Alsabbagh said.
"They are in shock. They can't believe what has happened."
He said a number of glass panels on the balcony had been broken in the past.
He said the family lived on the eighth floor, but the girl was playing in the sunshine on the fourth floor when the tragedy happened.
He said there were "important questions" to answer regarding safety on the balcony and smashed glass panels.
"They should have been fixed, there should be extra safety up there."
But he added: "I think the family are only thinking about taking their daughter back to Iraq.
"She was lovely and beautiful and always playing. We have happy memories of her."
South Yorkshire Police said officers were continuing to investigate the "tragic incident".
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