Neighbour saves Chinese toddler hanging from fourth floor window

Man clambers up the side of the residential block to support girl until the emergency services arrive

PUBLISHED : Monday, 28 August, 2017, 11:57am
UPDATED : Monday, 28 August, 2017, 2:19pm

A three-year-old girl spotted dangling out of a fourth-floor window in central China was saved by the quick actions of one of her neighbours.

The girl was seen hanging from bars on the window of her flat in Xiaogan in Hubei province on Sunday after her mother had gone out to buy groceries, news website Thepaper.cn reported.

A neighbour, Chen Fangyong, clambered up the outside of the building and used his chest and arms to support the toddler’s weight.

Firefighters arrived 20 minutes later to take the child and man down safely, the report said.

A video of the incident later went viral on Chinese social media.

Chen told the news website he was napping at home when he heard a commotion outside and saw lots of people gathering outside the apartment block.

As soon as he saw the child appear to stop moving, he clambered up to help support her.

“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 had been preparing to break down the door of the flat after it became clear nobody was at home. They had even prepared a makeshift “air cushion” from several duvets and bedsheets in case the girl fell.

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The mother of the child, whose full name was not given, was quoted as saying she was forced to leave the girl at home as the child did not want to go shopping with her.

She knew something was wrong when she saw neighbours gathered under her flat window after returning from the shops. She later rushed over to express her gratitude to Chen.

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Social media users in China praised his bravery, but others criticised the apparent slow response of the emergency services. “Firefighters took 20 minutes to arrive?” one person wrote.

Another commenter strongly criticised 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?”