French ex-minister delivers baby girl on plane

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Philippe Douste Blazy gives a press conference in Paris in 2006Image source, AFP
Image caption,
Mr Douste-Blazy, pictured in 2006, has previously worked as a cardiologist

A former French minister helped deliver a baby girl when a woman went into labour on an Air France flight to Paris.

Philippe Douste-Blazy, who previously worked as a cardiologist, assisted the birth alongside a midwife.

The baby was born above Algeria around two hours before the plane landed at Charles de Gaulle airport, travelling from Gabon's capital Libreville.

Both mother and baby are said to be doing well.

Mr Douste-Blazy was returning from a World Health Organization conference when a flight attendant made an announcement asking if there was a doctor on board.

"A young woman in her twenties who was seven months pregnant was clearly having contractions and her water broke," he explained.

"We placed towels and pillows on the floor and delivered there."

He praised the woman for her courage, saying: "She suffered a lot and there was not much (medicine) on the plane."

Mr Douste-Blazy served as Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2005-2007. He currently works for the UN.

In a post on Twitter, Air France joked that being born on one of its flights does not guarantee free flights for life.