The four-year-old boy was clinging from the balcony railing, four floors above the street. A neighbour was desperately trying to rescue him. Mamoudou Gassama, a 22-year-old from Mali who had arrived in France six months earlier, was passing by on a Paris street when he looked up to see this scene.
Gassama didn’t waste a moment, but began to scale the building immediately, from the street (video above). It was a heart-stopping, daring endeavour that ended well for everyone.
The real-life Spiderman, as he was dubbed, earned praise from, among others, the mayor of Paris, Anne Hidalgo, tweeted: “Congratulations to Mamoudou Gassama for his brave act that helped save a child’s life last night. I had the pleasure to talk with him today by phone, to thank him warmly.” She has promised to support him in his efforts to settle in France.
(Update: After meeting Gassama, French President Emmanuel Macron has declared he will be made a naturalised French citizen.)