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Wednesday, 3 November 2010

"Miracle" of Parisian toddler surviving seven-storey fall - where were the parents?

You might remember the tale of the 18-month-old "miracle baby" who fell from the seventh floor of a building in Paris on Monday afternoon, but survived the fall unharmed after he landed in the arms of a passerby.

It was a story that made the national headlines of television, press and radio.

Tabac le Vincennes - awning which broke the toddler's fall (screenshot BFM television)

The accumulation of events made it even more of a miracle than it at first appeared; the boy's fall being broken by the awning of a café closed for All Saints Day holiday, the fact that the awning should have been folded, but the device for closing it hadn't been working the day before, and of course the passerby, Philippe Bensignor, who happened to be on hand to catch the boy in his arms.

Dr. Philippe Bensignor who caught the 18-month-old toddler (screenshot France 2 television)

But but one vital question remains unanswered. Where were the child's parents?

The toddler had been playing with his three-year-old sister before the incident, but apparently they had been left alone in the apartment for at least a couple of hours.

"When we managed to get into the apartment we looked around to see whether the children's mother was home," Samia Benmoussa, a neighbour in the same building told Europe 1 national radio.

"There was nobody else apart from the little girl crying."

The parents had reportedly been out 'taking a walk" and only returned a couple of hours after the afternoon's drama.

Police took the couple in for questioning and they remained in custody until Wednesday morning before being released to appear before a court in two months to face charges of "neglect and unintentional injury".

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