Thanks to the quick actions of a heroic neighbour, a three-year-old girl was rescued from dangling out of a fourth-floor window in central China.
The news website Thepaper.cn reported that a toddler left at home alone was spotted hanging from the bars on the window of her apartment in Xiaogan in Hubei province on Sunday after her mother had gone out to buy groceries.
Neighbour Chen Fangyong climbed up the outside of the building and used his chest and arms to support the girl’s weight.
Firefighters arrived 20 minutes later to take the child and man down safely
A video of the drama later went viral on Chinese social media.
Chen told the news website he was taking a nap at home when he heard a commotion outside and saw a crowd gathering outside the apartment block.
As soon as he saw the child appear to be motionless, he clambered up to help support the girl.
“I’d seen a child stuck in a window railing before on TV, but never thought this would happen in real life,” he was quoted as saying. “I think anyone encountering this situation would have tried to help.”
Neighbours were ready to break down the door of the apartment after they realised nobody was at home and had even prepared a makeshift ‘air cushion” with duvets and bed-sheets in case the girl fell.
The mother of the child reportedly said she was forced to leave her daughter at home as she did not want to accompany her shopping.
She knew something was amiss when she saw the crowd after returning from the shops. She later rushed over to express her gratitude to Chen.
Social media users in China praised Chen’s bravery, with some criticising the slow response of the emergency services.
Another commenter condemned the mother: “So she left a three-year old at home because she didn’t want to go out?! If the kid said she didn’t want to go to school, would she not have to go to school then?”