Europe

Paris attacks: Pregnant woman from Bataclan 'safe'

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Media captionOne woman clung to a window ledge as she tried to escape the gunmen - Video courtesy of Daniel Psenny, Le Monde journalist

A pregnant woman seen hanging outside the Bataclan theatre in Paris while gunmen were attacking inside is safe, a friend told a website.

Video footage emerged showing the woman clinging on to a window shouting: "I'm pregnant! Catch me if I fall!"

A man, who was also trying to escape the shootings, helped her back up when it seems she grew too tired to hang on.

Her friend tracked down the man on Twitter and put them in contact, he told the Huffington Post.

A total of 89 people were killed and more than 100 injured when gunmen stormed the Bataclan concert hall during a concert by US band Eagles of Death Metal on Friday.

The pregnant woman, who prefers to remain anonymous, could not thank her rescuer in the wake of the carnage at the Bataclan. So her friend, Frans-Alexandre Torreele, asked Twitter to help her find him:

"Thanks Twitter," Mr Torreele tweeted on Monday. "This pregnant woman is well and she found her saviour through Twitter."

"The man who helped my friend to climb in the window of the Bataclan was found," he said in another tweet. "The rest of the story belongs to them."

Mr Torreele told the Huffington Post that he had spoken to his friend to make sure it was the right person.

"She was saved thanks to a succession of small gestures, a little bit of attention, and, in this moment of total craziness, these minuscule gestures accomplished big things," Mr Torreele said.

"That's what my friend wants people to know. It's hard to imagine how merely holding out a hand, or putting a hand on a shoulder can save people. These people should thank each other, should hold each other in their arms."

Image caption Sebastian says it was chaos in the street below them

The rescuer, a Frenchman known only as Sebastien, told French radio he was able to rescue her "by chance".

He had sought refuge from the hostage-takers through an emergency exit next to the stage, which led to a corridor, but realised there was no way through, only two windows, too far up to be able to jump from.

He found refuge in a ventilation shaft with his legs dangling on the outside of the building, about 15 metres above ground.

This is where he saw the pregnant woman hanging from the other window and who was calling down towards passers-by fleeing below her to catch her as she was going to jump.

But no-one was stopping because of all the shooting going on, he said.

"At one point, she said she was going to let go. In that case, you cannot watch someone die in front of your eyes, there had been too many already."

So he went back to the corridor and helped her up.

He said he found out on Monday that she was alive, and that they were due to speak to each other on Tuesday.

Sebastien said they had gone in separate directions soon afterwards, but five minutes later he had felt the barrel of a Kalashnikov against his leg.

He was held captive for some time, but says he managed to escape when police stormed the Bataclan.

A series of attacks in the hall, a stadium, restaurants and bars across Paris on Friday at least 129 dead and 350 wounded.

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