'Miracle baby' survives 11-storey fall

2014-05-15 07:47
A section of the Riverside Plaza apartments where a 15-month-old boy survived an 11-story fall from a balcony in Minneapolis. (File, AP)

A section of the Riverside Plaza apartments where a 15-month-old boy survived an 11-story fall from a balcony in Minneapolis. (File, AP)

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Washington - A 15-month-old US boy has survived an 11-storey fall from a balcony at his parents' apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota, local media reported on Wednesday.

Musa Dayib has been nicknamed "the miracle baby" after escaping death despite slipping through the railing and making a perilous fall.

In addition to fractures to both his arms, his backbone and his ribs, Dayib also suffered a concussion and is breathing through a ventilator. In critical but stable condition, he is expected to survive.

The boy was apparently saved by his soft landing spot, on a mulched area.

"If you and I fell that far, we would be dead," Tina Slusher said from the pediatric intensive care unit at Hennepin County Medical Center, the Star Tribune reported.

"He's a baby and... they tend to be more flexible and pliable than you and I would be. Having said that, it's a real gift from God that he made it because this is a huge fall."

The Tribune said the boy, from the large Somali American community of Minneapolis, fell from his family's balcony around 20:00 on Sunday (0100 GMT Monday).

"When people found out he survived, no one could believe it," said local community activist Abdirizak Bihi, who spent time at the hospital with the family on Monday.

‘Less than a minute’

The boy's uncle Abdirahim Ahmed told NBC television affiliate KARE he was worried about Dayib's parents.

"I don't think my brother and his wife will recover from this. They really torture themselves," he said.

Dayib's mother was running errands nearby while his father watched him and his three-year-old sister. The father was getting something in another room when his daughter ran over and said her brother fell.

"It took place in less than a minute," Bihi said, adding that it was the daughter who had apparently opened the balcony door.

Slusher said it was too early to tell whether Dayib would suffer any long-term complications from his big fall, but he will likely be out of the hospital in weeks or months.

"I expect him to survive," she said. "It's amazing."

The apartment building's owners and and managers said the balcony had passed inspection when the 1 303-unit Riverside Plaza underwent a $65m renovation in 2011-2012.

About half of the units are equipped with balconies. Residents have suggested installing an extra lock or latch to secure the door that opens to the balconies, according to KARE.
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