Monday 25 June 2018

Hero 'Spider-man' migrant who saved boy (4) given French citizenship

President Emmanuel Macron, left, speaks with Mamoudou Gassama at the presidential Elysee Palace. Photo: AFP/Getty
President Emmanuel Macron, left, speaks with Mamoudou Gassama at the presidential Elysee Palace. Photo: AFP/Getty

Henry Samuel

A Malian migrant hailed a national hero for scaling a building to save a four-year-old dangling from a fourth-floor balcony in Paris is to be granted French nationality and given a job as a fireman.

A video of Mamoudou Gassama's spectacular rescue went viral on social media and has been viewed millions of times.

With a crowd below cheering him on from the street, the migrant pulled himself from balcony to balcony at risk of life and limb.

He managed to grab the four-year-old as a neighbour unsuccessfully tried to reach the boy from the nearest flat.

French President Emmanuel Macron invited Mr Gassama to the Elysee Palace yesterday morning to personally thank him.

During their filmed conversation, Mr Gassama said that he was trembling like a leaf after his courageous act.

Afterwards, Mr Macron announced that he would be granted French citizenship and join the French fire brigade.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo also lauded the 22-year-old's heroism.

She said she had called him to thank him in person.

She hailed him as the "Spider-man of the 18th", a reference to the Paris district where the rescue took place.

"Congratulations to Mamoudou Gassama for his act of bravery that saved the life of a child," Ms Hidalgo tweeted.

"He explained to me that he had arrived from Mali a few months ago dreaming of building his life here.

"I replied that his heroic gesture was an example for all citizens and that the city of Paris will obviously be keen to support him in his efforts to settle in France." (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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