Paris attacks: Graphic designer trapped by Kouachi brothers describes ordeal at print factory in Dammartin

Graphic designer Lilian Lepère spent eight hours hidden under a sink at the printing business in Dammartin

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The Independent Online

The man who corresponded with police during the hostage situation in Dammartin, France, has been interviewed by France2 about his ordeal.

Graphic designer Lilian Lepère, 26, spent eight hours hidden under a sink at the printing business in Dammartin-en-Goële (Seine-et-Marne), while the building was being occupied by the two Kouachi brothers.

From his hiding place, Lepère said he saw nothing. He simply heard the voices of the brothers: one had approached and opened the doors of a nearby closet.

During the eight hours he spent huddled in the cramped space, he managed to contact the police with his mobile phone; sending information on the brothers' location and actions without alerting them to his presence.

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French gendarmes secure the roundabout near the scene of a hostage taking at an industrial zone in Dammartin-en-Goele, northeast of Paris

In one heart-stopping moment one of the brothers took a drink from the sink.

"I could see his shadow," Mr Lepère said. "My back was against the pipe and I could feel the water flowing.

"It was like you see in the movies. At that point the brain stops thinking, the heart stops beating, you stop breathing."

Carefully he texted his father: 'I am hidden on the first floor. I think they have killed everyone. Tell the police to intervene."

Two days of manhunts and sieges came to an abrupt and violent end last week: with the deaths of the Kouachi brothers - who carried out the Charlie Hebdo massacre - and a man who seized a Kosher supermarket in Porte de Vincennes, eastern Paris.

"I followed the instructions of my saviours," Mr Lepère told France TV Info. "At the time of the assault, my first feeling was freedom.

"Because it had been eight hours I expect them [the police ] to conduct an assault. I had a huge pain: buttocks, legs, back ... everywhere."

In the interview Mr Lepère thanked the manager of the printing press, Michel Catalano, who had warned him of Kouachi brothers’ arrival.

"I feel fortunate and happy to see my family," he said.