Candlelight vigil held for tot killed by falling air conditioner

TORONTO — Dozens of mourners laid teddy bears and said prayers Saturday for a two-year-old girl who died after being hit by an air conditioner that fell from an apartment window on Monday.

Family and community members who gathered at the candlelight vigil, held at the site of the tragedy, remembered Crystal Mirogho as a sweet child who loved to laugh

"She was our little angel," said Qasem Afzali, one of Crystal's cousins. "If I had a bad day, when I came to her house and saw her, it made me feel a lot better."

Afzali thanked those in attendance for braving the cold weather to honour the toddler, who was in a stroller and with her mother and siblings when she was struck on Monday afternoon.

Some in attendance cried while others — of multiple faiths — prayed for Crystal and her family members.

Family members said Crystal's immediate family didn't attend because they couldn't bear to come back to the spot where she was killed.

"It's very tough," said Afzali, adding that the family was devastated. 

"Her mom is pale white, she's in shock, and the dad is also in shock."

Arif Orya, one of the mourners at the vigil, said his heart broke when he heard about Crystal's death.

"It's very important to show love and support for the family," said Orya.

He said a spokesperson for the President of Afghanistan — where the family immigrated from — sent a message of support to the family and thanked the community for helping them.

A fundraiser for the family had raised more than $33,000 as of Saturday evening. A description for the fundraiser said the money would be used to cover funeral expenses and help the family relocate so they wouldn't have to face the site of the tragedy every day.

Slavko Ristich, a personal injury lawyer representing the family said it was "wonderful" to see the large turnout from the community.

"There was a lot of outreach," he said. "The community has been very supportive."

Ristich said the family is interested in pursuing legal action.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 16, 2019.

Salmaan Farooqui, The Canadian Press