By Mirembe Martina
A 92-year-old woman was locked and forgotten in a bank vault for 23 hours.
The elderly woman was taken to use her safe deposit box by the bank staff and she was forgotten in the vault. She was left sealed in the high security chamber in total darkness and without food of water. She was locked in the bank vault when the BNP bank in Rennes, western France, closed for the weekend.
Identified only as Germaine, was left alone by employees in the safety deposit room after she arrived at the bank at 11.30am on Saturday. Her disappearance was noticed by her son who alerted police that his mother was missing at 7.30am on Sunday after his repeated attempts to contact her had failed.
Police, in retracing her steps before tracking her down to the bank vault and releasing her at 10.30am on Sunday. Rennes police commissioner Pascal Serrand said: “Her son said he remembered she was going to the shops, the cemetery and the bank on the morning she disappeared. She had no mobile phone to locate her, so we retraced her movements and concluded she must still be in the bank. A manager arrived and opened the vault and we found her inside. She was tired and thirsty but otherwise in good shape and very polite, and very pleased we had found her.”
An investigation was launched to establish if charges could be brought against bank employees for negligence, Commissioner Serrand said.