The two-year-old was “severely injured” by a broken shard from the sculpture while visiting the Place Guillaume II and died in an ambulance. Police say the incident took place at around 8pm local time yesterday. In a statement, Luxembourg Police said: “According to initial evidence, an ice sculpture collapsed and a block of ice unfortunately hit a young child. The child was severely injured and died in the ambulance.”
RTL reported the market was immediately evacuated after the tragic incident.
An investigation has been opened and all further Christmas events in the city have been cancelled as a show of respect.
Local newspaper Le Quotidien said the incident took place “near the ice rink, next to the large wooden chalet” at the capital city’s annual Christmas market, which opened on Thursday.
It reported an ice house had been built for people to pose in front of for photos.
The paper said: “For some unknown reason, the sculpture collapsed on to the child.”
Eyewitnesses said the sculpture collapsed near an ice rink and shattered into pieces, fatally injuring the toddler.
A witness told local newspaper L’essentiel: “A child fell and I heard screams.
“The victim was on the ground about one or two metres from the rink.
Speaking to Luxemburger Wort, the sculptor said: “The sculpture couldn’t have just fallen by itself.”
He added he had 19 years experience in carving ice and the base of the fallen work weighed two tonnes.
On Monday morning, the state prosecutor’s office confirmed it was treating the incident as involuntary manslaughter.
Luxembourg’s prime minister Xavier Bettel said on Twitter: “I am shocked and distressed after the deadly incident yesterday at the Christmas Market where a small child lost her life.
“It is not a matter of regret how sad this makes us. My deepest compassion and compassion for the family.”