Mortified woman gets arm stuck in steering wheel forcing dramatic rescue
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This is the moment a student got her arm caught in her car steering wheel and had to call the fire brigade to be freed.
Solome Asfaw, 19, was waiting outside her halls at De Montfort University, Leicester, for best friend Chelsea Cariazo, 18, to bring her a snack when her arm became stuck in the steering wheel of her VW Polo.
The law student would usually rest her arm through the bottom of the steering wheel when she wasn’t driving, but hadn’t realised the wheel was on full lock which meant the gap was less than half the size.
When Chelsea came outside to deliver Solome her McDonald’s apple pie, she realised her pal was stuck and the pair couldn’t stop laughing.
Solome remained stuck for over an hour – despite Chelsea’s efforts to free her friend with hand sanitizer and baby oil – until they finally called 999.
The call handler sent a fire engine complete with four firefighters to rescue poor Solome – who they managed to free with some lubricating jelly and a bit of patience.
Solome, originally from Bradford, West Yorkshire, said: “I cannot tell you how embarrassing it was.
“It was such a sticky situation and I started to panic when I realised I was properly trapped in my steering wheel.
“Everyone came out of halls, there were two building sites nearby and all the builders came to watch, as well as loads of people from the gym next door.
“I just kept my head down – but people have been messaging me ever since saying they can’t believe it’s me.
“When I told my mum she laughed and said that whenever me and Chelsea are together nothing goes smoothly.
“It’s true – there’s never a dull moment.”
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Solome and Chelsea, an architecture student from Leeds, West Yorkshire, met at college and both went on to study at De Montfort University, Leicester, where they are in their first year.
Solome was outside their halls of residence in her car, resting her arms inside the steering wheel as she waited for Chelsea to come downstairs to deliver her a McDonald’s apple pie – having just received an order.
When Chelsea walked out of the building, Solome went to pull her arms from the wheel but realised her right arm was completely stuck – much to Chelsea’s amusement.
“I told her I had a huge problem, but she didn’t believe me, she just kept laughing,” Solome said.
“It’s never serious when we’re together, so I couldn’t help but laugh too – I couldn’t believe I’d managed to get myself in that situation.
“My arm had swollen up and was completely stuck.
“The only thing I can compare it to is when someone puts a lightbulb in their mouth and then can’t get it out again – I kept picturing that when I was stuck and it just made me laugh even more.”
Thanks to the slanted shape of the steering wheel, Salome’s elbow was well and truly wedged, so she asked Chelsea to go and buy some baby oil from the local shop.
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After covering her legs with a plastic bag, Chelsea poured the baby oil over Solome’s arm, drenching her legs and the floor of her Polo – but still not helping release her from the wheel.
Eventually, after over an hour, the pair decided they needed to call for help – and called 999 before being put through to the fire service.
“The woman laughed at us but said someone was on their way,” Solome said.
“They arrived in a huge fire truck and the lady put some jelly all down my arm.
“She tried to pull but it really hurt, so she said just to wait until I felt comfortable to pull myself out – and I was finally free.”
Once the fire brigade had left, Chelsea and Solome returned to their halls of residence to ‘hide’.
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“I was so embarrassed – there were so many people watching,” she said.
“I thought it was over with that day, but Chelsea filmed it and put the video on Tiktok, and it’s gone crazy.
“I have had so many messages from friends saying they can’t believe it’s me.
“An old friend who lives in Canada even messaged to say it better not be me!
“But it was me – I don’t think I’ll ever live it down.”
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