'Miracle baby' survives fall from 11th-story balcony in Minneapolis


A 1-year-old boy survived an 11-story fall from the balcony of a Minneapolis apartment building Sunday night, police said in a release.

Police spokesman John Elder told the Star Tribune that the boy somehow "slipped through the railings" of a balcony and plummeted to the ground at the Riverside Plaza apartment complex.

The boy was taken to Hennepin County Medical Center, and he was in critical but stable condition, the newspaper reports.

Abdirizak Bihi, a community activist in the predominantly Somali-American Cedar-Riverside neighborhood, tells KARE 11 doctors and neighbors are calling the 15-month-old a "miracle baby."

Bihi tells the station the boy suffered broken hands and ribs and may have sustained brain injuries. But he says doctors expect him to recover.

Bihi also tells KARE the boy's 3-year-old sister had opened the door to the balcony while their parents had turned away for a moment.

The Star Tribune identified the child as Musa Dayib. From the Medical Center's pediatric intensive care unit, Dr. Tina Slusher told the newspaper such a fall would be fatal to an adult. “He’s a baby and … he happened to land on a very small patch of mulchy area," Slusher said. "He’s a kid. So 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.”

Police arrived just after 8 p.m. Sunday to find the Minneapolis Fire Department attending to the child and keeping a crowd of approximately 100 people away from the scene, according to a release. Police declined to say exactly which of the buildings at the apartment complex the boy fell from, given the sensitive nature of the case, a spokesman told BringMeTheNews.

Bihi tells the Star Tribune the toddler's parents are so devastated they can hardly speak and are blaming themselves. He says the neighborhood plans a community meeting Tuesday evening.

Chris Sherman, whose company manages the apartment complex, tells both KARE and the Star Tribune that the design of the railings was approved by inspectors when the buildings were renovated in 2011 and 2012.

Safe Kids Worldwide says 3,300 children under 5 suffer injuries from falling out of windows every year, while a study in 2011 reported that 5,000 children a year fall from windows.

The Minnesota Department of Health released a Window Safety Program in 2008, which was required by Minnesota law after 2-year-old Laela survived a four-story fall from a window.

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