Sydney siege: Survivor Elly Chen had just started work at Lindt cafe

Ms Elly Chen, one of the hostages who survived the 16-hour siege, runs towards a police officer on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Ms Elly Chen, one of the hostages who survived the 16-hour siege, runs towards a police officer on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Ms Elly Chen, one of the hostages who survived the 16-hour siege, runs towards a police officer on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Ms Elly Chen, one of the hostages who survived the 16-hour siege, runs towards a police officer on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Ms Elly Chen, one of the hostages who survived the 16-hour siege, runs towards a police officer on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP
Ms Elly Chen, one of the hostages who survived the 16-hour siege, runs towards a police officer on Dec 15, 2014. -- PHOTO: AFP

Anxiety and fear transformed into relief for family and friends of Ms Elly Chen after pictures of her running out of the Martin Place Lindt cafe were released.

The 22-year-old was one of the hostages who survived the 16-hour siege at the cafe in Sydney. Two other hostages, Mr Tori Johnson and Ms Katrina Dawson, were shot and killed.

Ms Chen was one of two female cafe workers who ran from the cafe at about 5pm (8pm Singapore time), an hour after two customers and another staff member fled the building.

According to News.com.au, she was also one of the hostages who was forced to hold up an Islamic flag against the store's window.

She had been working at the cafe for only six days.

Ms Chen, a student at the University of New South Wales, is a talented sportswoman. She was previously a national swimming representative and a state tennis representative.

Her Facebook page was flooded with messages from friends when her pictures went viral.

'Such a relief to see that you are safe and sound- today must've been a difficult day, hang on tight girl,' Priscilla Luong posted.

'Heard on news just now - Glad you're safe, it must have been an insane time you gone through. Praying for peace.' said Thomas Ng.

melheng@sph.com.sg