BEIJING – While every family was celebrating Chinese New Year, Fei Fei (not her real name) from Sichuan had an unforgettable experience when she accidentally locked herself in the bathroom on Chinese New Year eve. After multiple futile attempts to escape, she was finally rescued 30 hours later, only to realise that it was already the second day of CNY!
During the wee hours of the morning, Fei Fei went to the bathroom to get herself ready for the day and closed the door behind her. But when she was done, she realized that she couldn’t open it.
“I could feel the handle turning, but the door lock was not moving with it.”
Fei Fei recalls, “I initially thought the handle was broken, but later I found out that it was the door lock cylinder. ” Her anxiety was further compounded when she discovered her smartphone wasn’t with her as well.
Unable to call anyone for help, Fei Fei began to find ways to break herself free. She first smashed the bathroom window with the shower head and tried to open the door from the outside. She also tried to kick the door down but unfortunately both methods failed.
After several attempts, she found it impossible to open the door by herself and decided to take a nap to save energy. She also drank tap water to avoid dehydration.
Not wanting to give up hope, she attempted to seek help by yelling through a voice-controlled AI device for an hour but to no avail.
Fei Fei knew a rider would deliver a parcel in the afternoon, so she hoped that he would be able to save her. Unfortunately, her unit wasn’t exactly noticeable and the rider was unable to deliver to her doorstep. Since he couldn’t contact her, he left the parcel in her locker after a few rounds of wandering.
Trapped and increasingly desperate, Fei Fei knew she had no choice but to bang on the pipes in order to get her neighbour’s attention even though it would raise a racket.
“I was basically banging on the pipes very loudly every hour or so.”
It wasn’t until 4 a.m. on the second day of Chinese New Year that her banging finally drew the attention of her neighbour living downstairs. Fei Fei quickly explained the situation to him and told him the password to enter her unit. Upon understanding her predicament, he immediately contacted a locksmith.
Free at last!
While waiting for the locksmith to unlock the door, Fei Fei’s neighbour kept her company and told her that she would be alright. By the time the locksmith finally sawed the door down, Fei Fei had been trapped for more than 30 hours.
After being rescued, Fei Fei invited her neighbour for a meal as a token of appreciation for saving her. She also decided to design a pennant for the locksmith to acknowledge his efforts and his act of kindness in buying her milk and bread after her terrifying ordeal.
In recounting her distressing experience, Fei Fei shared a few tips for those living alone:
1. When encountering these kinds of situations, calm down and try to work out a rescue plan.
2. Be sure to contact your family or friends often and reach a consensus on how long they should wait for your reply before calling the police for help.
3. Put a voice-controlled AI device at home so that you can use it to call for help if you’re unable to contact anyone by the phone.
The locksmith also reminded that people who live alone should always carry a communicative device and ensure the battery level’s sufficient so that they can seek help in a timely manner.
Sources: Beijing Youth Daily
Editor: Shitian Chew
Proofreader: Sarah Yeoh