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4-year-old survives seven-story hotel fall

June 4, 2010 at 7:09 PM

MIAMI, June 4 (UPI) -- Palm tree fronds breaking his fall may have saved the life of a 4-year-old boy who survived a seven-story plummet at a Miami hotel, authorities say.

The youngster climbed over the railing of a covered balcony on the 17th floor of the Doubletree Grand Hotel and fell to a dirt surface surrounding the 10th floor swimming pool, bouncing off the palm tree on the way down, The Miami Herald reported Friday.

"It's a miracle -- he doesn't appear to have broken a bone,'' Miami police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said.

The boy was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for observation, she added.

Lt. Ignatius Carroll of Miami Fire Rescue said the boy might have fallen 70 to 80 feet. Carroll has seen people die from falls of 30 feet, he said.

The boy, whose name was not released, was crying and had difficulty speaking when paramedics arrived, but physically appeared uninjured, Carroll said.

"He looked to be in pretty good shape. He wasn't all banged up like we expected.''

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