A pregnant woman who clung to the ledge of a Bataclan window has become a tragedy icon following the Paris attacks.
Her desperate cries of “Help me, help me, I’m pregnant, I’m pregnant” can be heard in video footage of her escape bid, which went viral worldwide.
The woman and her unborn child were at risk of meeting their death during the horrific attack when they were saved by a hero stranger. The hero- known only as Sébastian- spoke yesterday for the first time since the attacks.
“There were two windows in front of me,” Sébastian told La Province “She was dangling from one of them, begging people below for help if she jumped. It was chaos down there as well. I climbed out through the other window and held on to an air vent 15 metres from the ground. I held on for five minutes and then the pregnant woman, who couldn’t cling to the window-sill any longer, asked me to help her get back inside. That’s what I did.”
As distressed civilians fled the scene, the woman screamed for help as she desperately hung on for life as Islamist terrorists unleashed terror inside the theatre. After footage emerged of her being dragged through the window, the world worried for the survival of her and her baby.
“She was begging people down below if they would catch her if she jumped. But it was chaos down there. We were 15 metres above the ground. I don’t know where she went afterwards.” He said.
Thanks to the initiative and bravery of Sebastian, the woman and her baby survived the ordeal despite being mere seconds from losing her grip and her life.
Sébastian gave the first proper insight into the ferocity of the attacks after three gunmen stormed the Bataclan during the Eagles of Death Metal Concert on Friday where 89 people tragically lost their lives.
“We watched the end of the first part of the Eagles of Death Metal, then we went to the bar, had a beer or two.
“When the first shot was fired, we all thought it was a pyrotechnic effect. Then when the second shot was fired, we understood.
“We heard people screaming. The singer had deserted the scene. The lights came back into the room, I turned to the entrance and I saw two or three guys armed with Kalashnikovs.
“They were shooting at anyone they met. The first people who fell were those in the bar. Everyone was lying on the ground.
“The terrorists were shooting on sight. I saw a guy next to me take a bullet in the head.”
Sébastien’s escape bid led him to the balcony area, where he helped the pregnant womanmoments before he was taken hostage.
“I felt the barrel of a Kalashnikov against my leg. A terrorist said to me, ‘Get down from there. Come and lay down’.
“It was here that the hostage crisis began. There were 15 of us. From the balcony, the terrorists were shooting people down.
“They told us, ‘We are here to make you undergo what the innocent suffer in Syria. You hear the cries of suffering? It’s to make you feel the fear that people suffer every day in Syria. It’s the war. And that’s just the beginning. We will massacre the innocent. We want you to repeat that around you.’
“I closed my eyes not to see death.”
Describing the terrorists, Sébastian said: “They spoke French to each other. One was Algerian with blue eyes. They claimed they were here for the Islamic State.”
A twitter campaign has started to try to thank Sébastian for his efforts by friends of the woman, who wish to remain anonymous.
“She wanted to thank everyone who had a part in helping her,” said Frans Torreele, a friend of the woman, who put out an appeal to find the man.
“She could not do it herself as she didn’t want to be exposed as she wants wants to put it to rest now.
“The brother of the man who helped her contacted me by email and we checked and it was the right person. They’ve exchanged numbers and all is going well and that’s all we wanted.”
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