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Thursday, 25 November 2010

Frenchwoman survives three weeks stuck in the bathroom

Here's a perhaps daft question.

What would you do if you found yourself locked in a bathroom? Not just for a couple of minutes or even an hour, but for a few weeks?

You're probably thinking it couldn't happen. After all someone would be bound to notice that you had gone to spend a penny and ended up forking out several pounds, to keep the idiom going.

Joking aside though, that's exactly what occurred to a 69-year-old woman in an apartment block in the town of Épinay-sous-Sénart just south of the French capital.

She was reportedly trapped inside her bathroom for almost three weeks without food and survived only by drinking tap water.



Her ordeal began on November 1 when, according to the national daily Aujourd'hui en France - Le Parisien , the woman accidentally locked herself inside her bathroom.

She didn't have a mobile 'phone, there was no window and she was basically helpless.

The only way she could think of calling for help was to bang on the bathroom pipes during the night.

That brought no response - or at least not the one she had clearly hoped for.

And it wasn't until one of her neighbours contacted the police last week to say that he hadn't come across the "nice lady in the building" for some time that the emergency services were alerted, firefighters called in and the woman freed from her 20-days confinement.

She was alive, but as the the paper describes it, emaciated, shocked and needed to be hospitalised.

The most telling part of the tale maybe is what the woman's neighbours did - or perhaps didn't do - while she was trapped inside her bathroom.

Even though someone had come to read her meters and left a card on the mat outside her door, it took a week for anyone to think that there might be something wrong.

And then there's the reaction to her tapping on the bathroom pipes during the night.

The only response that brought was for a petition to be circulated complaining about the nocturnal noise; one for which they were suitably shame-faced when they discovered what had really happened.

"We put a note under her door saying how unbearable the constant banging during the night was," one neighbour told Europe 1 national radio.

"Now I'm definitely more than a little embarrassed," she continued.

"The woman could have died. I'll certainly pay more attention to my neighbours in the future."

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

This story reminds me of a plumber who had accidentally locked himself in the loo. He managed to call his boss with his mobile phone, who then called me at work. I could then call my partner who was working inside the house where the plumber was working, no doubt listening to the radio at full blast and not hearing the (Portuguese) cries for help. The plumber was then freed. Morale of the story: always carry your mobile phone to the loo.

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