Baby Survives 3-Story Drop from Burning Building

I’m working on the remaining baby name contest submissions today. In the meantime, here’s a happy/sad story:

Photo of a baby being dropped from the third floor of an apartment building. Thick black smoke is pouring out the windows of a brick apartment complex. Two people in one window look down as the baby free falls. Elsewhere, a man stands on a ledge to escape the smoke.

(Photograph: Rene Werse/AFP/Getty Images)

"I looked him in the eyes and he looked at me as if to say ‘go for it.’ I kissed Onur one last time and then I let him fall."

During an apartment fire, eight-month-old Onur was dropped by his uncle from the third floor of an apartment complex (40 feet) in Germany. The main wooden staircase in the building had collapsed. Onur, his uncle and his parents survived, but nine people perished, including Onur’s 2-year-old brother and several relatives. (Some reports state his mother died in the fire, but the Associated Press states she’s alive in the hospital.) The building was filled with revelers from a town carnival; a parade had passed the building a few hours before.


5 Responses to “Baby Survives 3-Story Drop from Burning Building”

  1. Mark says:

    Maybe this should have gone in a personal email, but I’d be curious to see if others feel the same. As a general programming note — my tolerance for the classic “baby-in-danger” stories has gone way way down since my son was born, which is something that surprised the heck out of me since I generally wasn’t all that emotional over most news stories before. I know that it’s sorta a happy story because the baby survived, but still…meh. I got a big ol lump in my throat when I saw the picture. Not sure if just a link to the story might have been more appropriate.

    It’s entirely possible that I’ve turned into a giant wuss as a dad and I’m way off base here, so I’ll be glad to take my comment and shove it. I just know that it was a surprise to find this on Thingamababy rather than MSNBC or CNN.

    February 6th, 2008 at 1:50 pm

  2. AJ says:

    I hear you Mark. My rationale was pretty simple. I was short on time and it’s an extraordinary photo.

    Prepping the baby name contest entries takes an insane amount of time (finding/resizing photos, finding links, editing submissions for readability, etc.). So I rifled through the top of my recent bookmarks and compiled a few pertinent news links.

    I wouldn’t know if this story was covered on CNN, MSNBC, Fox, etc. because I stopped watching them last year due to their political-corporate bias and emphasis on entertainment over serious news. My primary reading for national and international news is Reuters and the BBC. So on news stories, I sometimes risk writing about something that pop media consumers have already been inundated by.

    What drew me to the baby story was that, after the news broke a few days ago, the uncle’s story popped up. It interested me to think about being in that situation and having to let go of the baby and hope for the best.

    Regarding meh, eh, maybe the contest submissions aren’t captivating either if you’re not trying to name a baby boy; I don’t know.

    There is an awful lot of material I find that I don’t write about because I feel it’s not substantive enough to warrant people visiting Thingamababy to read. So I take your quality concerns to heart.

    February 6th, 2008 at 2:15 pm

  3. AJ says:

    Oof, I see the story is on as the feature story right now. So, I guess, if I’d written about the story when it actually broke in the world press (read: not US press) two days ago, maybe it would be a little more special.

    February 6th, 2008 at 6:37 pm

  4. Mark says:

    I actually am with you on the way the major US media covers entertainment-as-news (if I see one more newscast leading off with the latest breathless Britney Spears update I’m gonna throw something at the TV), so I wasn’t actually aware of this story having hit a couple of days ago — it just reminded me of the same *type* of headline you’d see at once of those click-and-hit-hungry sites. I’m not accusing you of resorting to that sort of tactic, I think (I hope?) you know the type of respect I have for you and the site.

    And I admit that the picture IS amazingly powerful — like I said, I got a lump in my throat when I saw it at work. That said, I’ve scrolled quickly past each time I’ve come back to the site today, cause I don’t particularly want to see it again, and I think of what if that was my son and I had to make that choice and-and-and…wow, is it a little dusty in here or is just me?

    I guess what I’m saying is, I’m able to appreciate it on an artistic and human interest level, on a personal level it gives me the heebie-jeebies and it’s not something I’d usually elect to click through to.

    February 6th, 2008 at 10:09 pm

  5. baby girl says:

    I don’t know what would I do in their place.

    February 7th, 2008 at 10:00 am

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