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Last Updated: Friday, 25 August 2006, 13:27 GMT 14:27 UK
Inside the Austrian girl's 'dungeon'
An ordinary house in a village outside Vienna is being searched by Austrian police, as they investigate one of the country's most remarkable cases.

A young woman held captive there for eight years is Natascha Kampusch, whose disappearance at the age of 10 prompted a huge police hunt.


Priklopil's house
Priklopil's unremarkable home is typical of the area

It is thought Natascha Kampusch was held in a cellar under the garage of a home in the village of Strasshof - less than 10 miles (16km) from her Vienna home.

Reports suggested that Wolfgang Priklopil, 44, kept her "locked up day and night", but sometimes allowed her into the house to do the housework.


Trapdoor in garage and set of stairs
Police pictures show a trapdoor and stairs to another room

That Priklopil was able to keep Natascha captive for so long without being caught has prompted many Austrians to ask questions of the police investigation into her disappearance - and how well people know their neighbours.

Details released by police suggest that Priklopil, who committed suicide following Natascha's escape, went to great lengths to keep her hidden.

The communications technician's home was protected by surveillance equipment and the entrance to the "dungeon" was carefully concealed.

Photographs show a trapdoor in the floor of his garage and a set of stairs leading to another room.


Cupboard and metal door
Behind a small cupboard a metal doorway was found

Down the narrow stairway, the room beneath the garage also appeared to be ordinary - with a stack of car tyres and other belongings.

But when a small cupboard pushed up against a wall was moved it revealed a metal hatch - so small that it would have to be crawled through.

This "doorway" led to the soundproofed and windowless room where Priklopil is believed to have kept Natascha prisoner.

Her cell is reported to have measured five square metres (54 square feet).


The room where Natascha Kampusch was held

During her captivity, Priklopil provided Natascha with food and other necessities. She was also taught reading, writing and arithmetic, police say.

Her cramped room was cluttered with books and clothes.

Against one wall was a chair and desk to work at, along with a radio and television she was sometimes allowed to use.

Her bed was on a raised platform, its ladder being used as a place to hang clothes.

The room also contained a toilet and washbasin.

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