'Hero' Malian migrant saves child from Paris balcony

In a rescue captured on video, Mamoudou Gassama scaled a building in Paris to save a four-year-old child hanging from a fourth-floor balcony.

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A young Malian man was hailed a hero on Sunday after he sprang into action to save a four-year-old child hanging from a fourth-floor balcony by single-handedly scaling the facade of the building and hauling the youngster to safety, reports FRANCE 24.

Without a thought for his own safety, Mamoudou Gassama took just seconds to reach the child in a spectacular rescue captured on film and viewed millions of times on social networks.

The incident took place at around 8:00 pm on Saturday in northern Paris.

Film of the rescue shows Gassama, 22, 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.

"Luckily, there was someone who was physically fit and who had the courage to go and get the child," a fire service spokesman told AFP.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo praised the young migrant on Twitter for his "act of bravery" as well as phoning him personally to "thank him warmly".

"He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here.

"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 added.

Read more of this report from FRANCE 24.

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