Wednesday, May 23, 2018
Public safety

New Tampa girl, 3, falls from third-floor apartment window

TAMPA — A 3-year-old girl jumping up and down on a bed fell out of a third-floor apartment window Wednesday afternoon and landed in a dirt patch outside the building, authorities said.

Mumina Nass showed no obvious injuries, a Tampa Fire Rescue spokesman said, but was taken by helicopter to the trauma unit at Tampa General Hospital to find out if she suffered internal injuries.

The incident happened just after 3:30 p.m. at the Andover Place Apartments, 10216 Altavista Ave. in New Tampa.

It was not immediately clear how the girl fell through the window. But a neighbor whose wife witnessed the aftermath said the girl's mother retrieved her daughter and took her back inside the apartment.

Paramedics examined the girl inside her family's apartment, Fire Rescue spokesman Jason Penny said. The girl was calm and became upset as paramedics started to examine her.

"She was conscious, she was breathing fine, she was lucid" according to paramedics, Penny said. Paramedics said they were told she was jumping on a bed near the window and fell out. The girl's mother was home at the time, Fire Rescue said.

Because of the height of the fall, about 30 feet, she was taken to the hospital, Penny said.

Her condition at TGH was not available Wednesday night.

Esteban Cucalon, 27, who lives in an apartment on the ground floor below the girl's family, said his wife was home when she fell.

"My wife called me," he said, and told him she'd heard the girl jumping on the bed.

Cucalon's wife told him the girl's mother retrieved her from a dirt area underneath the window and took her back to their apartment, he said. Cucalon arrived at the building later and one of the men with him called 911, he said.

Dr. Catherine Carrubba, attending physician in the emergency room at Tampa General Hospital, said there was no way a child would be totally uninjured after a fall from that height.

"They won't break on the outside the way we do. They'll break on the inside," said Carrubba, who is also medical director for Tampa Fire Rescue and the helicopter program.

Children's bodies are more elastic than adults and, especially if they don't fall on their head, injuries may not be visible. But the force of the fall will affect internal organs, she said.

"They will have contusions and damage deep that you can't see," she said.

Times researcher John Martin contributed to this report. Contact Keeley Sheehan at (813) 226-3368 or [email protected] Follow @keeleymsheehan.

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