A Malian immigrant dubbed Spiderman for scaling four storeys to save a child dangling from a balcony in Paris will be made a French citizen after meeting with French President Emmanuel Macron this morning. Mamoudou Gassama, 22, was hailed a hero for single-handedly hauling the four-year-old to safety after scaling the facade of an apartment block in the capital’s 18th arrondissement. The dramatic rescue, which saw Gassama clamber from balcony to balcony and reaching the child in less than 30 seconds, was captured on video and widely shared on social media. He has since been compared to the Marvel superhero Spiderman.
Gassama, who said he arrived in France a few months ago ‘dreaming of building his life’ in the country, was pictured meeting French President Emmanuel Macron at the Elysee Palace this morning. Macron said the migrant will be made a French citizen and will also be offered a place in the fire brigade. “All the (Gassama’s) documents will be put in order,” Macron told the sporty 22-year-old who has become a national hero, referring to his immigration status.
In the meeting, live footage of which was carried on the president’s Facebook page, Macron gave Gassama a medal for bravery. Without a thought for his own safety, Gassama took just seconds to reach the child in a spectacular rescue captured on film and viewed millions of times on social networks. “I was not thinking of anything. I went straight up”, Gassama, who wore jeans and a short-sleeved patterned shirt, told Macron, recounting the episode. “Bravo,” Macron replied. “I’m pleased because it’s the first time I’ve received a trophy like that,” Gassama, who arrived in France in September 2017 and lives in a hostel for immigrants, said after receiving his medal. The incident took place at around 8pm on Saturday in northern Paris.
Film of the rescue shows Gassama pulling himself up from balcony to balcony with his bare hands as a man on the fourth floor tries to hold on to the child by leaning across from a neighbouring balcony. On reaching the fourth floor Gassama puts one leg over the balcony before reaching out with his right arm and grabbing the child. Firefighters arrived at the scene to find the child had already been rescued. One witness told Le Parisien: ‘There is a fence and a gap between them… The neighbour could not afford to lean back to get the child himself.’ The only injury sustained by the child was a torn nail. Gassama suffered a few scratches. An investigation into the incident is now underway.
Go ahead and share this! Don’t miss out the fun, hit the like button on our Facebook page now!