Former Midhurst schoolgirl in Kenya terror ordeal

Paramedics run beside parked ambulances outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting started for the third time since the morning Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)
Paramedics run beside parked ambulances outside the Westgate Mall in Nairobi after heavy shooting started for the third time since the morning Monday, Sept. 23, 2013. Kenya's military launched a major operation at the upscale Nairobi mall and said it had rescued "most" of the hostages being held captive by al-Qaida-linked militants during the standoff. (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

A FORMER Midhurst Grammar School pupil has told of her terror at being caught up in the Nairobi shopping mall massacre.

Hannah Chisholm, 21, wrote on Facebook to her friends that she was safe after news emerged of the terrorist atrocity inside the shoppoing mall which has resulted in at least 62 deaths leaving more than 170 injured.

She revealed how she hid under a pile of boxes as gunfire rang out around her.

She told the BBC News website: “I’m from England but am staying in Nairobi at the moment. I was shopping in the supermarket when we started hearing gunfire while we were at the checkout.

“Five minutes before the lights went out, then came back on.

“I was there with my driver.

“We kept running to different places but the shots were getting louder so we barricaded ourselves along with about 60 others into a large storeroom. There were children hiding with us as well as someone who had been shot.

“The gunfire was loud and we were scared but at that point we thought the gunmen were thieves so we assumed they wouldn’t try to reach the storeroom.

“However, we gradually began to hear conflicting reports suggesting that terrorists could be responsible and that people were being killed. This was terrifying.

“We hid in boxes and we tried to escape once when we were told it was safe. We almost made it to the door but they started firing again so we ran back.

We were rescued by plainclothes officers after about four hours.”

Posting on her Facebook page, which lists Haslemere as her home town an Nairobi as the town she currently lives in, Ms Chisholm said: “Just to let everyone know I’m safe after being taken hostage for three hours were finally released by the FBI and pray for the people who were killed in this horrible attack.”

And in reply to well-wishers, she wrote: “Thank you was so scary, people had been shot and we were sure they [the attackers] would find us. they have machine guns wtf!?! managed to hide in a storeroom for a couple of hours till we were released but they still have hostages its too horrible.”

Security forces were today (Tuesday) combing the Nairobi shopping centre attacked by suspected al-Shabab militants, as they sought for a fourth day to secure the site.