Briton in miracle escape

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The Independent Online

A British woman who was at the hotel which was demolished in the Concorde disaster had a miracle escape from death it has been revealed.

A British woman who was at the hotel which was demolished in the Concorde disaster had a miracle escape from death it has been revealed.

Alice Brooking, 21, jumped out of the first floor window of Hotelissimo in Gonesse outside Paris as the Air France crashed into it, escaping with just a burn to her arm.

Her father Hugh from of Hildenborough, Tonbridge, Kent, told of his daughters escape.

Apparently she had been on the phone to her sister Natalie, who works in London, when there was a huge explosion and the line went dead.

Alice who is a language student at Cambridge University, was at the hotel waiting for a group of English students after spending the year in Paris working as a tour guide for Club Europe.

"We were frantic when Natalie phoned us to say the line had gone dead and then we started seeing what had happened on TV," said Mr Brooking.

"But Alice managed to call us a bit later to say she was okay.

"She was on the phone when she heard the explosion and she said she remembers hearing the receptionist running round screaming at everyone to get out.

"The receptionist was downstairs, Alice was upstairs. She just jumped out of the window and apparently the receptionist was below to break her fall.

"She had a miraculous escape but she is very shaken."

Mr Brooking said: "She told us she didn't see the worst of the accident but she is very fragile emotionally now.

"She was up all night and so were we, we couldn't sleep. We've all been watching the TV all night.

"Alice was let out of the hospital last night and has gone to stay with my sister-in-law in Paris.

"She has lost everything she had with her, her luggage and everything but at least she is okay," added Mr Brooking.

Alice was due to return shortly to start her fourth and final year at Cambridge.

Nathalie, was today on her way out to Paris to be with her sister.

"I just heard her say, 'Oh my God, what's that' and an enormous bang. I knew the hotel was by a motorway so I thought a lorry had hit it or something. But then the line went dead.

"I tried to call her back but couldn't. She told me later she'd run for the door of her bedroom and opened it to see flames everywhere. She slammed it shut before running to the window.

"The receptionist was screaming to her to get out. She didn't have her shoes on or anything. She jumped and then said she just remembers getting up and running and running, over roads and fields.

"We can't believe really she escaped with just a burn on her hand."

Alice's boyfriend, currently on holiday in the Canary Islands, was very worried and in contact with the family, Nathalie added.

Alice had been working for Club Europe in the summer holidays, but was due to finish work at the end of the week, when her parents were going to France to meet her.

Both sisters are bilingual, as mother Francine is French.