A family from Russia had a lucky escape after a fire in their home forced them to take drastic measures to exit the burning building.
Parents Elena and Vitaly had no choice but to throw their young children, Zhenyu and Xenia, from the balcony of their fifth floor apartment as smoked billowed from the windows, before jumping themselves.
A group of about 20 people gathered on the street below, in the town of Strunino, 110km from Moscow, to catch the family, Russian website NewInform reported.
Elena told NewInform: “My husband realised that we were not locked out. Everything in the apartment was in the black smoke, and we strongly choked. And I have a child with heart disease who is 11 months old.
“We got everything on the balcony, and my husband said ‘we will jump, otherwise we cannot escape’.”
Dramatic footage, captured by onlookers and posted on the news website, showed the parents dropping their youngest child to the neighbours on the ground, followed by the second child.
The mother is then shown climbing over the edge of the balcony and jumping before the father steadies himself and takes a moment to pray before making the leap himself.
Remarkably, the two children and their mother landed safely, however the father - who was seen being helped to his feet in the video - was injured and taken to hospital.
According to the website, the remaining residents were evacuated and three fire engines soon arrived on the scene to deal with the blaze.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies