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Tourist David Willis Trapped for Two Hours in London Waterstones

American tourist David Willis found himself trapped inside a Waterstones book store in Trafalgar Square, London, for two hours.
"The Worst-Case Scenario Survival Handbook" on display in a Barnes and Noble store February 13, 2003 in New York City. The book provides tips on how to survive dangerous situations.Mario Tama / Getty Images, file

LONDON – An American tourist found himself trapped inside a bookstore in central London for two hours Thursday night after staff locked the doors without realizing he was inside. David Willis, from Dallas, Texas, alerted the Waterstones franchise that he was stranded in its Trafalgar Square branch by sending it a tweet asking "please let me out." Willis had stopped off at the store just before 9 p.m. (4 p.m. ET) to use the free Wi-fi on the second floor—but while he was there he did not realize staff had turned out the lights on the ground floor and closed up for the night.

"I’m very tired, I did not sleep very much last night but it feels good to be free," he told NBC News’ U.K. partner ITV News. When asked how staff failed to notice him, he said: "I don’t know, that’s a great question… I walked in right past employees." Despite triggering an alarm and calling the police, Willis said he was only rescued after Waterstones employees saw his tweets.


- Alexander Smith