Belgian woman spent six days trapped in her overturned car during record-breaking heatwave

Accident: Corine Bastide ran off the road in into woods last week near Liege, Belgium

A woman who spent six days trapped in her overturned car during the recent record-breaking heatwave has said focusing on her children kept her alive.

Corine Bastide, from Belgium, had to survive off raindrops after she ran off the road into woods near the southeast city of Liege leaving her trapped.

It was only when relatives were putting up missing posters this week that they spotted the vehicle, the BBC reported.

Ms Bastide, aged 46, said that during the first night entombed in her car her mobile phone rang constantly as her family desperately searched for her.

However, she was in such pain, as she lay with broken glass sticking into her back, she could not reach it.

Temperatures in Belgium rose to over 40C (104F) last week, but Ms Bastide survived on rain water she collected during a weekend storm.

Belgium braced itself for code red, extreme heat warning last week, as temperatures soared to 40C. Here, a mother and baby cool off in a park fountain in Antwerp (AP)

“The heat was stifling at first. I managed to open a door with my foot,” she told state broadcaster RBTF.

“Then it started to rain over the weekend and that was nice.

“On the other hand, I had to sleep in water for two nights.

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“It was cold and I was shaking all the time,” she said on Wednesday.

“I tried to drink by filling up a little chewing gum box,” she said, adding that she also sucked on a wet tree branch to keep her mouth moist.

Ms Bastide said she did not feel particularly hungry.

“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.

“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.”

She managed to hold on long enough until she was discovered on Monday by a woman who had joined a public search for her.

"The lady who found me, I cannot thank her enough, she saw the car below and she came and asked me if I was Corine? 'Do you know me?'," she said.

"She told me they were looking for me everywhere. She stayed with me all the time and that lady I think is my guardian angel."