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Tot falls seven storeys ... into a doctor's arms

The expression "bouncing baby" has been given miraculous new meaning by an 18-month-old boy who fell from a seventh floor window in Paris and survived without a scratch.

The child, left alone in his family flat with his three-year-old sister, climbed out of a window. He fell 60 feet onto the awning of a cafe and bounced straight into the arms of a doctor who had rushed across the street to try to help.

The toddler's parents, who have not been named, were still in police custody last night.

The child's escape was even more miraculous than it first appeared. The cafe, in the 20th arrondissement in north-eastern Paris, was closed for the All Saints bank holiday. The awning which broke the fall should have been folded but had jammed the day before.

Dr Philippe Bensignor, who caught the child in his arms on the first bounce, had been having a drink in a cafe across the road.

"My son happened to look up and he saw that a little boy was on the balcony. He had somehow got through the railing and was playing on the very edge of a vertical drop.

"I just had the time to get across the street and place myself. I said to myself: 'Whatever happens, I mustn't miss him'."

Dr Bensignor said the little boy tumbled onto "exactly the right spot in the awning, where there was no metal support underneath".