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Belgian woman tells of six-day ordeal in overturned car during heatwave

Corine Bastide said thoughts of her children helped keep her alive.

Corine Bastide in her hospital bed at the University Hospital of Liege in Liege, Belgium (Hadrien Riga/AP)
Corine Bastide in her hospital bed at the University Hospital of Liege in Liege, Belgium (Hadrien Riga/AP)

A Belgian woman who spent six days trapped in her overturned car during one of the country’s hottest periods on record has said thoughts of her children helped her to focus on staying alive.

Corine Bastide ran off the road into woods last week near the southeast city of Liege.

It was only when relatives were putting up missing posters this week that they spotted the vehicle.

Ms Bastide, aged 46, told state broadcaster RTBF that during the first night entombed in her car her mobile phone rang constantly as her family searched desperately for her but she was in such pain she could not reach it.

Temperatures in Belgium rose to over 40C (104F) last week, but Ms Bastide survived on rain water she collected during a weekend storm.

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Corine Bastide’s car (Hadrien Riga/AP)

“The next day the telephone stopped ringing. I knew the battery had run out. I tried screaming when I heard people, but apparently no one could hear me,” she said.

“The heat was stifling at first. I managed to open a door with my foot.

“Then it started to rain over the weekend and that was nice.

“On the other hand, I had to sleep in water for two nights.

I thought I would never get out. But I wanted to live for my children Corine Bastide

“It was cold and I was shaking all the time,” she said Wednesday.

“I tried to drink by filling up a little chewing gum box,” she said, adding that she also sucked on a wet tree branch to keep her mouth moist.

Ms Bastide said she did not feel particularly hungry.

“The hardest thing was lying on my back on broken glass. I tried to lift myself up but I had the feeling that my back was being ripped apart,” she said.

“I thought I would never get out,” she told RTBF.

“But I wanted to live for my children.

“I didn’t want them to think I had done something stupid, like kill myself.

“No, it was an accident.”

PA

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