A young man has been dubbed a real-life ‘spiderman’ after climbing a four-storey building to rescue a child dangling off a balcony.
In a seemingly effortless attempt, Mamoudou Gassama, 22, pulled himself up four floors using only his bare hands and saved the four-year-old boy who was hanging from a balcony in northern Paris.
Footage of the rescue showed Mr Gassama grabbing the child within seconds of scaling up several balconies.
Mr Gassama pulled the child to safety well before firefighters – alerted by a neighbour – arrived on the scene.
“Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child,” a fire service spokesman said.
Quel courage .. bravo à ce jeune du 18eme pour cet acte héroïque 👏🏼
Posted by Habib Bibou on Saturday, May 26, 2018
Mr Gassama said he did not think twice before coming to the boy’s rescue.
“I saw all these people shouting, and cars sounding their horns. I climbed up like that and, thank God, I saved the child,” he told reporters.
“I felt afraid when I saved the child … [when] we went into the living room, I started to shake, I could hardly stand up, I had to sit down.”
The child sustained a broken nail and Mr Gassama suffered a few scratches during his climb.
A person in the neighbouring balcony can be seen in the posted video, which has been viewed more than 7 million times, grabbing onto the boy’s hands as Mr Gassama made his way up the building.
“There is a fence and a gap between them … The neighbour could not afford to lean back to get the child himself,” one witness told French newspaper Le Parisien.
According to authorities, the child was without his parents at the time. The mother was not in Paris and the father is due in court for leaving his child unattended.
Mayor of Paris Anne Hidalgo posted a congratulatory tweet to Mr Gassama for “his brave act that helped save a child’s life” and phoned him to “thank him warmly”.
In that conversation, Mr Gassama “explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here,” she said.
“I told him that his heroic act is an example to all citizens and that the city of Paris will obviously be very keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France.”
She referred to him as “Spider-Man of the 18th” – the district where the rescue took place.
French president Emmanuel Macron will honour the young man’s bravery on Monday at the Elysée Palace.