A toddler has died after falling off a 24th floor balcony in Fairfax County, police say.
The child was found before 4 p.m. Monday near the Skyline Towers Apartments, in the 5600 block of Seminary Road. First responders tried to help the child, but they were pronounced dead.
Fairfax County police did not immediately release the child’s name or exact age. Initially, police believed the child fell from a window.
An area was cordoned off near one of the towers. Several women with children in their arms stood nearby.
A spokesman for Equity Residential, which owns the building released a statement saying the company is cooperating with the invesgiation.
“Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this very difficult time,” the statement said.
Residents told News4 that the rails are wide enough apart for a child to fit through. One resident said he lined his balcony with chicken wire after a similar tragedy months ago.
At least two other children have fallen from apartments in the towers; one was killed.
In May, a 3-year-old boy died after falling through the screen of an open bedroom window in Skyline Towers, 26 stories up. A woman said she was cooking in her third floor apartment when she heard screams and ran to her balcony.
In 2015, a toddler fell from the fifth floor of an apartment and survived.
Many residents are concerned about the locks on the window screens, a resident told News4 on Monday.
Linda Watkins, a spokesperson for the organization Safe Kids Worldwide, previously told News4 that window screens are meant to keep bugs out but are not sturdy enough to keep children inside. Watkins said parents should keep furniture away from windows.
“A lot of times, we will have furniture of some sort, or even the crib, pushed up against a window, and toddlers can climb up on that and get to the windows and push those screens out,” she said.Families can install window stops or guards, and if a window opens from the top and bottom, they should only open the top.