A 19-month-old baby girl with Brazilian and Dutch parents fell to her death from the window of a 12th-floor apartment in Phnom Penh’s Tuol Kok district Wednesday morning, police said.
Deputy commune police chief Kim Chan Thul said the accident happened at about 10:30 a.m. at the ISL Modern Apartment and Hotel on Street 313 in Boeng Kak II commune and was reported to police by owners of the property next door, a construction site into which the child fell.
While units on either side have balconies, there is a sheer drop from the window of the family’s apartment to the ground below. Mr. Chan Thul said the baby’s mother and a Cambodian housekeeper left the child unattended momentarily, allowing her to climb onto a computer desk that was positioned next to the open window.
“The girl’s mother opened up her laptop and put a cartoon on for the baby to watch and then went out of the room to make food, while the maid was in the bathroom cleaning,” he said.
“After questioning, and having examined the body at the construction site, police conclude that the baby climbed up onto the desk while no one was guarding her and fell out of the window.”
Mr. Chan Thul identified the girl’s parents as Ana Paula Souza, a 41-year-old Brazilian national from Rio de Janeiro, and Gerrit Bulk, 48, a Dutch national who operates a horticultural business in Meanchey district.
Mr. Bulk returned to the apartment from work at midday accompanied by a consular representative, who acted as a translator, according to Mr. Chan Thul, who said he was not sure what embassy the representative was from.
The body was taken to the Khmer-Soviet Friendship Hospital at the request of the parents, he said, adding that the case was now closed.
“It was a tragic accident, but if they hadn’t put the desk and chair beside the window and left it open, it wouldn’t have been possible for the child to climb through the window,” he said. “It was their job to be watching over her.”
Management at the apartment building declined to comment.