Alligator snatches child at Florida Disney resort
June 15 2016 01:27 PM
Early morning view of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa
Early morning view of the Grand Floridian Resort and Spa

AFP/Orlando

Authorities early Wednesday searched lakes outside Disney's Grand Floridian Resort and Spa after an alligator snatched a two-year-old boy from the shore.

‘As a father, as a grandfather, we're going to hope for the best in these circumstances,’ Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said at a late Tuesday press conference.

‘But based on my 35 years of law enforcement experience, we know we have some challenges ahead of us.’

Demings said that a family of five from the midwestern state of Nebraska was relaxing on the shore of a man-made lake at the upscale Disney resort when an alligator emerged and snatched the boy at around 9:00 pm Tuesday (0100 GMT Wednesday).

The father, who Demings did not name, entered the water but failed to rescue his son from the animal's jaws.

Demings said that a team of some 50 people had been deployed to search for the child.

Rescuers used sonar and lit the area with bright lights overnight as a helicopter hovered overhead. Firefighters stood on the water's edge with infrared cameras scanning the water for the child.

An alligator trapper was on standby along with a team of divers waiting for daybreak to enter the water.

‘Everyone here at the Walt Disney World Resort is devastated by this tragic accident,’ a Disney official said at the press conference.

Alligators are common in Florida, but rarely attack humans.



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