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Driver hailed hero after saving falling baby

Update: March, 01/2021 - 15:19

 

Paul Kennedy

HÀ NỘI — A delivery driver has been hailed a hero after he caught a baby who had fallen from the 13th storey of a Hà Nội apartment block.

Nguyễn Ngọc Mạnh heard desperate screams from neighbours alerting people below that the child had climbed over a balcony railing and was clinging on for her life.

Mạnh, 31, climbed onto the corrugated roof a small structure on the ground floor moments before the three-year-old girl lost her grip.

As she plummeted to the ground, Mạnh managed to grab her and pluck the baby to safety.

“I don’t think I’m a hero. Anybody would have done the same,” Mạnh said.

“When it happened I didn’t think much, I just looked at the baby and thought of my daughter at home and rushed to help.

“After that even though knowing she was safe, I was still shaking, then I rushed home to find my daughter. Only when I held her in my hands could I calm down a little, my daughter is the same age as the baby.”

Screenshot from a video showing the moment when the three-year-old girl lost her grip and began to fall from the 13th floor of an apartment block in Thanh Xuân District.

The drama unfolded on Sunday evening at the complex in Thanh Xuân District.

A woman living opposite recorded the incident on her cell phone and can be heard desperately screaming for help.

The woman shouted: “Where’s everybody? That’s so dangerous! Anybody down there? Anyone on that side? Run down to the first floor!”

“Oh my God. Oh my God!” she screamed as the baby started falling.

Thankfully her cries were heard by Mạnh who was making a delivery at a nearby apartment building.

Mạnh can be seen on security cameras rushing to climb on to the roof of the lean-to structure directly below.

He can then be seen grabbing the child as she hurtles towards him.

Screenshot from security camera footage showing van driver Nguyễn Ngọc Mạnh holding out his arms preparing to catch the toddler

On Monday, Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc sent a letter praising Mạnh for his bravery.

"I'm moved to know on February 28, 2021, Nguyễn Ngọc Mạnh was so brave and acted so quickly to save a baby that fell from the 13th floor of block 60B at the Nguyễn Huy Tưởng apartment complex in Thanh Xuân Trung Ward, Thanh Xuân District, Hà Nội," he wrote.

"I praise Nguyễn Ngọc Mạnh for his courageous action and high sense of responsibility.

"I ask the Hà Nội People's Committee and the Central Committee of Emulation and Commendation to recognise Nguyễn Ngọc Mạnh's shining example of a noble gesture, kindness and compassion so we will have more people like him in society."

 

Nguyễn Ngọc Mạnh.

The chairman of the Hà Nội’s People’s Committee praised Mạnh for his bravery.

He also said he will receive a certificate and a cash reward for his actions.

Residents also praised his actions on social media.

The baby is being treated at National Children's Hospital in Hà Nội. — VNA/VNS Photo
 

One said: “Inspirational! Well done Manh.”

The second said: “Big salute to Real Hero Manh!”

The third one said: “So typical of Vietnamese people, always helping each other! Well done mate, you’re a champion!”

Illustrations of Mạnh wearing a red cape trying to save the baby also appeared on social media. There was also one of him kicking Death away as he rushed to catch the toddler.

Although the child suffered a dislocated hip from the fall, she is recovering well in hospital and is expected to be allowed to leave soon. — VNS

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