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. (READ HERE)
With a crowd below cheering him on from the street, the migrant pulled himself from balcony to balcony at risk of life and limb, and managed to grab the four-year-old as a neighbour unsuccessfully tried to reach the boy from the nearest flat.
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, and said she had called him to thank him in person.
She hailed him as the “Spiderman 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.”
Hinting that he could expect a fast track to residency, government spokesman Benjamin Griveaux tweeted: “This huge act of bravery, faithful to the values of solidarity of our Republic, must open the doors to our national community.”
A petition has been launched online.
Rights group SOS Racisme said: “Mamoudou Gassama serves as a useful reminder to us that people without papers are human beings with…great bravery that many have shown in their perilous journey to Europe – bravery that they often continue to display here.”
The drama took place on Saturday evening on a street in the north of the French capital. Mr Gassama told journalists he had been in the vicinity when he saw a crowd gathered in front of the building.
“I saw lots of people shouting and cars beeping. I saw that the child was going to fall from the balcony. I did it because it was a child,”BFM TV quoted him as saying.
“I climbed… Thank God I saved him.”
He added: “When I got the child, he was crying. I asked him where his mother was. He replied that she was at a party.”