Clinging on to a balcony 15 metres up and screaming for her life as gunmen roamed the corridors of the Bataclan music hall, the unnamed pregnant woman has become a symbol of the tragedy. And, for the first time one of the survivors has revealed the dramatic moment he sprung from his hiding place to save the woman by pulling her to safety - and felt a Kalashnikov in his leg.
The man, known only as Sebastian, pulled the woman from the window ledge as three armed ISIS suicide bombers roamed corridors picking off targets one by one. Moment later, he said and the woman [sic], tired and fearful to hang on for longer, would have fallen to her death. The woman and her baby survived the attack and friends of hers have taken to social media to find her hero and thank him.
Sebastian said he spotted her as he fled as the arena and climbed through a window and clung to an air vent
. He looked to the next window and saw the woman, who was screaming, 'help me, I'm pregnant.'He told La Province: 'She was begging people down below if they would catch her if she jumped. But it was chaos down there. We were 15 metres above the ground.
'I held on for five minutes and then the pregnant woman, who was exhausted, begged me to help her get back inside. That's what I did. 'I don't know where she went afterwards but I went back to my old hiding place which wasn't great. Five minutes later I felt the barrel of a Kalashnikov against my leg and a terrorist yelling: 'Get down from there... Lie on the ground'.'
And in the first real insight from what happened inside the music hall where 89 concert goers lost their lives, Sebastian revealed how the gunmen stopped firing indiscriminately and negotiated with security forces who had surrounded the theatre.
During the talks, Sebastian said, a number of wounded hostages were released. The unnamed concert goer described the moment he heard the first shot – with many in the audience believing it was part of the act. That illusion was shattered seconds later when he heard the second shot ring out and the band flee the stage.
'The singer had gone,' he said. 'The lights came on and I turned to the entrance and saw two or three guys armed with Kalashnikovs. They were shooting at anyone they met. Those in the bar went down first. Everyone fell to the ground. I saw a guy next to me take a bullet in the head. 'Word spread that there was an exit behind the stage. I crawled closer to it. I had to crawl over dead bodies, wounded people, my clothes were full of blood.
'I took advantage of one guy reloading to escape behind the stage. On the left there was no emergency exit so I crossed and hid behind a black curtain and got to the other side. There was no exit there either. I climbed the stairs but they led onto the balcony of the concert hall.
'That's when I went to the windows and saw her.'
After helping the pregnant woman back inside and obeying orders to lie face down with around fifteen others, Sebastian said he could hear the killers shooting from the balcony. He heard people screaming as if they were being tortured.
'They told us: 'We're here to make you go through what the innocent are suffering in Syria. You hear the cries of suffering?'
'Now you feel the fear that people go through every day in Syria. It's war. And that's just the beginning. We will massacre the innocent. We want you to tell everybody'.'
Sebastian closed his eyes expecting to be killed but then the terrorists asked him and others to call BFM, ITV. He added: 'They wanted to talk to reporters. They asked, for some reason, if money was important to me and took out a wad of €50 notes and made me burn them.
'They spoke French to one another... One was Algerian looking with blue eyes. 'Then they wanted to talk to the police. They put us against the windows and I had to shout to them to stay away. 'They said they had explosive belts and if the police approached they would blow us all up. They didn't seem organised and spoke to a negotiator via a hostage's notebook. The only claim they made was the withdrawal of forces.
'Then they threatened to kill one of us every five minutes and throw a body out of the window. I think they negotiator managed to organise that we would come out and then we waited. 'We were the hostages. Those minutes were the longest of my life. 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.
'The terrorists had placed two human shields on doors but the security services managed to burst in without touching them.
'They used a battering ram and threw a stun grenade. When I saw a second one fall at my feet I told myself it was time to flee. 'I ran. The grenade exploded and threw me under the ram as the forces came through. I was trampled on but it was the happiest day of my life. I was saved.'
Friends of the woman, who wants to remain anonymous have begun a Twitter campaign to find Sebastian to thank him for his bravery.'She wanted to thank everyone who had a part in helping her,' said Frans Torreele who put out an appeal to find the man. 'She could not do it herself as she didn't want to be exposed as she wants wants to put it to rest now. 'The brother of the man who helped her contacted me by email and we checked and it was the right person. They've exchanged numbers and all is going well and that's all we wanted', he added.
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