By Vicky Buffery
PARIS - A 15-month-old baby girl survived a fall from a seventh-floor apartment in Paris almost unscathed after bouncing off a cafe awning and into the arms of a passer-by, police said on Tuesday.
The infant had been playing unsupervised with her four-year-old sister on Monday when she somehow fell out of the window, a spokesman for local city police said.
A young man saw the baby starting to fall and alerted his father, who raced to get into position, arms outstretched, to catch her after she hit the awning, the daily Le Parisien reported.
"He must have played rugby for years to have developed reflexes like that," a bystander who saw the incident told the paper.
Police said the girl appeared to have no serious injuries and was under observation in a nearby hospital.
The owner of the cafe, located at the foot of the block of flats in the northeast of Paris, said it was a stroke of luck he had decided to leave the awning open that afternoon.
"I usually close it to stop it catching fire as people tend to throw their cigarette butts onto it," he told the television station i-tele.
The police spokesman said the circumstances behind the accident were unclear. "The parents were absent, and it's a bit difficult questioning the two girls, given their age."