Toddler Hangs By His Head From Balcony Ledge as Firefighters Attempt Rescue

July 3, 2018 Last Updated: July 3, 2018

A four-year-old boy was hanging by his head from the fifth-floor balcony bars of an apartment in southern Taiwan on June 23, according to local news reports.

He was home alone on Saturday morning in the apartment located in Pingtung City, south of Taiwan’s capital, Taipei. He climbed out to the balcony and slipped through the gaps in the bars that were between four to eight inches (10 centimeters – 20 centimeters), but his head got caught between the bars. This stopped him from falling to his death, The Taiwan News reported.

A neighbor reported that they heard someone shouting about a boy dangling from the fifth floor. The neighbors got tarp from their car and used it as a safety net. It didn’t take long for the young boy to feel exhausted from holding on to the bars with his arms.

The firefighters and the police arrived. They used a ladder truck to get to the fifth floor, but since the apartment was barricaded, they went to the sixth floor and rappelled down to the fifth and pulled him out almost 30 minutes later.

The boy suffered from minor head and ear injuries.

The parents claimed that they had left their son in the care of his aunt. When he woke up from sleep, the aunt was no where to be found. That’s when he decided to play on the balcony.

Lu Tsung-hsueh, professor and chairman of the Institute of Public Health at National Cheng Kung University, said that the government should set up a unit that deals with child mortality, Focus Taiwan reports. Particularly, because roughly one third of deaths among children in Taiwan are considered avoidable, she said.

She also said that more attention should be paid to the lives of infants because of the increasingly low birth-rates and ageing population.

The cellphone footage shows firefighters attempting to reach the boy. The video shows rescuers rappelling from the floor above as the boy holds onto the rails with his arms and struggles to get his footing.

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Reuters contributed to this article.