A pair of hands reaching out to rescue a pregnant woman seen on video dangling from a second-story window outside the Bataclan music hall has become one of the indelible images of the tragic attacks in Paris.
After nearly two minutes of pleading for help as people rushed from the scene, the woman was pulled to safety by an unseen man. Now thanks to social media, she has been able to reunite with him and express her gratitude for saving her and her unborn baby.
The unidentified woman and the man who rescued her quickly were separated in the chaos after he pulled her inside, leading to a message in French circulating on Twitter over the weekend asking people to help her find him so she could say thank you.
The search didn't take long, as the rescuer, identified only by his first name, Sebastian, was soon located and reunited with the woman. A tweet in French said, "We've found the man who helped my friend hoist herself through the window at Bataclan. The rest of the story belongs to them. Thank you.”
Eighty-nine people were killed at the Bataclan venue during the attacks by ISIS gunmen. Sebastian told French newspaper La Province that five minutes after he rescued the woman, he "felt the barrel of a Kalashnikov against my leg and a terrorist yelling, 'Get down from there. Lie on the ground.'''
When the gunmen initially burst into the theater, he described making his escape up the stairs to the balcony area while one of the men reloaded his weapon. That's when he heard the woman's screams for help from outside the window and pulled her to safety. He then described the awful moments when they were all held hostage.
"Those minutes were the longest of my life,'' he said. "I went through all the emotions including hope and finally the acceptance of death, even if I closed my eyes against it and the Kalashnikov pointed in my direction."
French authorities then stormed the building and ended the massacre.
"I was trampled on but it was the happiest day of my life,'' Sebastian said. "I was saved."
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