Paris baby 'survives six-storey fall unharmed'

Media caption,
The baby survived without even so much as a scratch

French media are describing as a "miracle" the unscathed survival of an 18-month-old infant who fell from a sixth-floor apartment.

The boy was left unattended by his parents when he somehow fell, then bounced off the awning of a cafe below.

He had a further stroke of luck when a passing doctor saw him fall and caught him before he hit the ground, witnesses were quoted as saying.

The doctor found no injuries but he was taken to hospital for a check-up.

Initial reports, picked up by the BBC, suggested the baby was a girl, but he was later established to be a boy.

His dramatic fall and rescue took place on the corner of the Cours de Vincennes and the Rue des Pyrenees, in the 20th arrondissement, late on Monday afternoon.

A man living in a building opposite the apartment told France Info he saw the baby playing by the window with a girl a few years older.

They were coming and going from the window, he said, and he had a feeling something bad might happen.

The man who caught the boy was walking by with his wife and son, who spotted the boy falling.

Another witness told Le Figaro that the doctor positioned himself by the awning and caught the boy in his arms after he bounced off it.

The witness, Francois, said the boy cried a bit at first but quickly calmed down.

The doctor, identified as Philippe Benseniot by France Info, said it was pure luck.

"I was there at the right time," he told France Info.

Correction 4 November 2010: Following French media, we initially reported that the baby was a girl, but have corrected the story to say he was a boy.

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