Authorities in Orlando are searching for a two-year-old boy who was dragged into the water by an alligator near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.
Area near where an alligator dragged a two-year-old boy into the water near Disney's upscale Grand Floridian Resort & Spa in Orlando
Orange County sheriff Jerry Demings said a family of five from Nebraska was on holiday and wading in a lake on Tuesday evening despite "no swimming signs" when the attack happened.
Mr Demings said that more than 50 law enforcement personnel were searching the Seven Seas Lagoon for the boy and will keep looking.
The sheriff's office received an emergency call at 9:21pm and is conducting a search and recovery operation aided by Forida Fish and wildlife and Reedy Creek fire rescue.
Mr Demings said: "The father entered the water and tried to grab the child but he was not successful in doing so. I'm told that at some point, the mother also entered the water."
The attack happened in an area of the Seven Seas Lagoon where "no swimming" signs were posted, Mr Demings said.
The alligator was estimated to be 4 to 7 feet long, but its exact size was not known.
"The sad reality of it is it's been several hours and we're not likely going to recover a live body," he said.
Mr Demings said there had been no other recent reports of similar alligator attacks at the lake.
Hotel guest A.J. Jain and his family from Georgia were visiting Disney and told the LA Times that his family was playing on the beach near the scene of the incident earlier on Tuesday.
“I’m just here to say a prayer,” he said. “I can’t imagine what those parents are going through. It’s been one tough week in Orlando.”
The luxury resort is one monorail stop from Disney World. The man-made Seven Seas Lagoon reaches a depth of about 14 feet and is used for boating activities.
Disney spokeswoman Jacquee Wahaler said everyone at the resort was devastated by what happened and Disney is helping the family.
A crowd has started to form around the Seven Seas Lagoon by the resort as deputies search the water.