Expat woman in Dubai gets trapped in bathroom for 17 hours

woman trapped in bathroom, Deira, Pakistani expat, Emma Kaiser

Dubai - She used a make-up brush, nail cutter and scissors but nothing worked. The handle came off after repeated attempts to break the door open.


Anjana Sankar

Published: Tue 21 Jul 2020, 7:20 PM

Last updated: Wed 22 Jul 2020, 8:46 AM

A quick run to the bathroom turned out to be a nightmarish experience for a Pakistani expat in Dubai when she got trapped in her own bathroom for more than 17 hours.

Emma Kaiser, 33, said she had never felt so helpless as she was living alone in her one-bedroom apartment in Deira, and did not have the mobile with her to call for help. She curled up on the cold floor all night hoping that someone would come looking for her.

"It was terrible. It seemed like an endless wait as I sat there with no sense of time and without knowing what is going to happen next," Kaiser, who works for a bank, told Khaleej Times.

Recounting the horror, Kaiser said she had stepped into the bathroom just before going to the gym on July 15 evening, and left her mobile in the bedroom.

"It was 7.15pm and I went inside the bathroom and gently closed the door. After a couple of minutes, when I tried to come out, the door would not open though I had not locked it," said Kaiser.

"I tried everything possible to move the handle but it was stuck. I even used my make-up brush, nail cutter and scissors but nothing happened except that the handle came off. That is when I really started panicking."

Kaiser said she became breathless and started imaging the worst things possible. "Then I told myself to calm down and to look for a way out. I climbed on the toilet seat and took off the false ceiling and started screaming for help. I banged the door with the door handle. As hours passed, I knew I was trapped."

She said she survived the night by drinking water from the tap and keeping negative thoughts away. "I was worried that my parents and friends would get anxious because I was incommunicado. I knew I had to wait till morning when someone will hopefully come looking for me," said Kaiser.

It was when her alarm rang for the morning prayer at 4.45am that she realised the night was behind her.

"All the while my parents in Pakistan, my sister in Chicago and friends were constantly calling me. At 8.45am, the second alarm I had set for a conference call rang and by 11am, I heard my cousin sister outside the door. I called out her name and asked her to get me out. She had a spare key for the house. She along with the security guard came in and broke open the bathroom door," said Kaiser.

She said she was sweating and breathless and was near to tears when she got out at 11.30am.

"It was such a huge relief and felt like I woke up from a scary dream. My advice to everyone living alone is to always keep their phone with them," said Kaiser.


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