It sounds like the worst “What if?” dilemma ever: Would you rather be burned alive or die from an 8-story fall? Either way, the odds are not in your favor.
In a heart-stopping story from Moscow, a Russian woman had just such a choice to make on Sunday, according to the U.K. Daily Mail. As the eighth floor of the high-rise apartment where she lived succumbed to an enormous blaze, she climbed out onto the balcony.
With bystanders watching helplessly, the woman held on for dear life as black smoke billowed from the building. As the heat or the smoke or both became too intense, she fell from the railing to the ground 60 feet below.
What happened next was nothing short of unbelievable. Watch the video here:
As they say, it’s not the fall that gets you, it’s the sudden stop at the end. So it’s nothing short of miraculous that against all odds, the woman survived the fall.
She was taken by ambulance to a hospital where it has been reported that she fell into a coma, according to The U.K. Sun.
The cause of the fire was not yet determined.
Amazingly for a fire of such apparent size, only nine people had to be evacuated from the burning building. Additionally, a child living elsewhere in the building required medical attention.
Russia leads the world in deaths from structure fires, according to the International Association of Fire and Rescue Services. Over 11,000 Russians died in fires in 2014 (this includes vehicle fires). Greater population density, with the majority of city-dwellers living in high-rise apartments, may make structure fires more deadly than those in single-family detached dwellings.
This brave woman did the unthinkable and survived. She is very lucky to be alive.
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