Saturday, January 18, 2014

78-year-old woman trapped in chimney after trying to abseil down to retrieve her spectacles

In an attempt to retrieve her spectacles a 78-year-old woman from eastern France ended up spending 22 hours wedged in her chimney. The tale began on Monday afternoon when she dropped her glasses while she was inspecting a flue connecting her fireplace to her chimney at her 18th century home in the historic village of Vic-sur-Seille.

The woman was unable to reach the glasses to retrieve them, so she climbed up to the attic, which has direct access to the chimney, and slung a rope over a beam. After looping the rope under her arms she began lowering herself into the 50-centimetre diameter flue in the hunt for her lost "lunettes".

But about three metres in she began falling. She slid for another two metres before finally becoming wedged in. It was in that position that she spent the night. Fortunately for her the neighbours got worried when they noticed there were no signs of life at the woman's home. They quickly raised the alarm and in the end more than two dozen firefighters were sent to her home to pull her out.

The rescuers had to cut open the chimney in order to free her. But if the firefighters were expecting a little bit of gratitude after freeing the woman they were mistaken. Without missing a beat she politely reprimanded them for the mess they’d made in pulling her from the chimney. The woman was taken to hospital, where she remained until Wednesday. There is no word as to whether the spectacles were recovered.

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