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Firefighters free woman trapped in bathroom for 20 days

By the CNN Wire Staff
  • 69-year-old French woman became stuck in windowless room after doorknob fell off
  • Warm water from the bathroom tap sustained her, French media reported
  • She banged on a door and cried out, but neighbors attributed the noise to workmen
  • Eventually, some grew concerned about her absence and called authorities

(CNN) -- French firefighters have freed an elderly woman who was locked in her bathroom for nearly three weeks.

Police said the 69-year-old woman had been stuck in her windowless bathroom in the town of Epinay-sous-Senart for 20 days.

She became trapped in the bathroom when a doorknob fell off while she was inside, police said. She repeatedly banged on her door and cried for help, but the neighbors apparently thought workmen were the source of the noise.

French media reported that the woman survived her ordeal by drinking warm water from the bathroom tap.

Neighbors grew concerned and alerted authorities after going several weeks without seeing the woman.

CNN's Winnie Andrews contributed to this report.