Distraught sculptor states it was "impossible" for the piece to fall on its own.
A child was fatally injured at the Place Guillaume II Christmas market on Sunday evening at around 8pm.
An ice sculpture next to the skating rink collapsed and broke into pieces, with a child being hit by one of the broken shards. It is not yet clear why the sculpture collapsed.
The police later confirmed that the child succumbed to their wounds at the scene. On Monday, the police confirmed the victim was a two-year-old boy.
The police have launched a vital call for witness, asking for anybody who provided assistance at the scene to contact the Luxembourg City police station. Those with information should contact either the local station at 24404500 or 113.
Place Guillaume II was completely closed in the aftermath to the incident and the police are investigating. The police, forensics, the public prosecutor's office, and emergency services were at the scene.
The authorities are seeking to shed light on how the sculpture broke apart and the police are investigating. On Monday morning, the public prosecutor's office confirmed it is investigating the incident as involuntary manslaughter. The public prosecutor's office has also appealed for any witnesses to the tragedy to please contact 113.
Luxembourg City and Luxembourg City Tourist Office held a press conference on Monday evening, during which it was stated that the sculpture was intended to be interactive - and was thus deliberately not cordoned off. See our full report here.
An RTL journalist was by the scene of the accident, and has written of the emotional experience here.
'More questions than answers'
In an initial reaction to the tragic events that unfolded on Sunday, the public prosecutor's office has highlighted that at the current time, more questions have arisen than there are answers to the circumstances surrounding the accident.
The main question is how is it even possible for a small child to be hit by a broken ice sculpture at a Christmas market and die from the injuries. Everyone who has read about the incident will be thinking about how exactly this happened, but it is the role of the public prosecutor's office to come up with answers.
The public prosecutor's office is investigating the death as involuntary homicide, opening the case against person[s] unknown.
The investigation will conclude what exactly happened on Sunday evening, what circumstances led to the two-year-old boy's death, and to what extent any authorities should be held accountable, if applicable, according to the justice's spokesperson Henri Eippers.
He elaborated that on Sunday evening, forensics teams seized any potential evidence to preserve it for the investigation. The blocks of ice forming the sculpture that broke have been placed in a special cold room to preserve the ice and to allow experts to try and ascertain how it broke apart.
In principle, Eippers explained, the organiser is responsible for safety. The sculptures, created by French artists, were commissioned by the Luxembourg City Tourist Office. Eippers added that everything must be double-checked at this stage, namely how the process to create the sculptures went, whether there was any surveillance, and more. The authorities will investigate every detail, especially as the sculpture was designed to be interactive.
Other Christmas markets in other countries have had CCTV networks installed, such as Strasbourg's markets, which were marred by a terror attack last year. Whether there is any CCTV footage that can help the investigation remains to be scene. Eippers confirmed that individual cameras were on Place Guillaume II, but he was unsure whether any additional cameras were installed for the Christmas markets.
The public prosecutor's office repeated calls for any witnesses to contact 113.
"It could not fall by itself"
Our colleagues at RTL5Minutes contacted the sculptor of the company Ice & Art who made the work in question.Clearly distraught, he told RTL: "We are all shocked, me first and foremost. This does not happen, such a thing could not occur again" suggesting that the heavy piece "could not fall alone, it's impossible". According to him, this is first time one of his sculptures has collapsed.
Asked about the nature and composition of the ice used, he confirmed that it was "only pure water, without air, so that it is completely transparent and we would see the slightest defect".
The investigation is underway, but also out of respect for the family, he did not wish to comment further.
Prime Minister Xavier Bettel reacted to the news on Twitter, writing that 'words cannot describe how tragic the incident was'. The prime minister offered his deepest condolences and sympathy to the victim's family.
Late on Monday morning, the municipal council of the City of Luxembourg published its press release, stating that the council was informed of the news 'with great dismay'. The municipal council offered its most sincere condolences and deepest compassion to the family and friends of the victim, 'knowing that no words can appease the pain they are experiencing'.
The City authorities also announced that out of respect to the victim and the child's family, all the Christmas markets in the capital and planned events will be cancelled on Monday. The City of Luxembourg will host a joint press conference with the Luxembourg City Tourist Office at 6 pm at the town hall.
RTL Today initially posted that the victim was a young girl - this was based on incorrect information and has been updated.