A young man has described the dramatic moment he saved a toddler’s life when he caught it after it fell 20 feet from a first-floor flat’s window.
Zahreddine Bahri, 29, was driving to a mosque when we saw the child dangling precariously from the ledge.
Screeching to a halt, he jumped a fence before breaking the boy’s fall as he shot to the ground – injuring his own arm and shoulder in the process.
The act has drawn comparisons to ‘Le Superman’ Mamoudou Gassama, who became an international hero after scaling a Parisian building to save a child hanging from a balcony.
Zahreddine, from Basildon, Essex, said: “I was driving to the mosque when I noticed a couple looking up.
“I knew something wasn’t right and I realised there was a boy aged about three hanging from the outside of a window – I thought he was going to fall.
“I got very scared and imagined it was my own baby daughter so I stopped my car immediately, ran over and jumped the fence then positioned myself underneath the child along with another man who had come to help.
“We asked him to try and climb back in but he was too tired. I don’t know how long he had been hanging there.
“Within two minutes, the kid became tired and let go. He landed in my arms and luckily we were able to catch him in a way that he was not injured. It’s so lucky we were there to catch him.”
Police were called to the incident in Basildon, and the toddler was checked at the hospital.
Mr Bahri also went to hospital after injuring himself during the fall.
He said: “When he landed on me, my arm got kind of twisted. The doctor bandaged it up and said I must rest it for three weeks.
“It was so fortunate we were there. It makes you realise that everything happens for a reason.
“The police said if he had fallen on his head he could have died or been left paralysed which would have changed his life forever.
“I appreciated them thanking us for what we did – it is a great feeling. I never expected anything like that to happen.
“I was only just talking with my colleague about the incident in France when that man climbed up a building and saved a child – it’s crazy.”
A police spokesman added: “We were called by the ambulance service just before 11.35pm expressing concern for the welfare of a child.
“The child had fallen from the window of a building and had been caught by a member of the public.
“Officers ensured the child’s safety and wellbeing and then accompanied them to hospital. The child suffered no injuries.
“The case has now been referred to social care.”