A woman trapped in her car for six days after it overturned during last week’s record-breaking heatwave has said she stayed alive by drinking rainwater from a chewing gum box and thinking about her children.

Marie Corine Bastide injured her spine when she ran off the road into woods near the Belgian city of Liege

The 46-year-old said her phone rang constantly the first night, but she was in too much pain to reach it.

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“The next day the telephone stopped ringing. I knew the battery had run out,” she told Belgian broadcaster RTBF.

“I tried screaming when I heard people, but apparently no one could hear me.”

The car ran off the road into woods near Liege
Image:
The car ran off the road into woods near Liege

She said the heat was “stifling” at first but that she managed to open a door with her foot.

“Then it started to rain over the weekend and that was nice,” said Ms Bastide. “On the other hand, I had to sleep in water for two nights.”

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As temperatures rose to more than 40C (104F), she slipped in and out of consciousness because of pain from her injuries.

She managed to stay alive by collecting rain from a storm.

“I tried to drink by filling up a little chewing gum box,” she said.

“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.

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“I thought I would never get out.

“But I wanted to live for my children. I didn’t want them to think I had done something stupid, like kill myself.”

Ms Bastide was discovered by a woman on Monday after her son had put up missing posters and organised a search.

“She told me they were looking for me everywhere,” she said.

“She stayed with me all the time and that lady I think is my guardian angel.”

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