A student has won millions in compensation after he was thrown in a police cell and forgotten for days.

Daniel Chong, 25, was arrested during a drugs raid and put in a cell by officers in San Diego, California.

Thus began a harrowing ordeal which he claimed led to him drinking his own urine and suffering from violent hallucinations as he languished in confinement for five days.

Describing the impact it had on him, Chong said: "All I wanted was my sanity. I wasn't making any sense."

Now he has won $4.1m compensation and the Drug Enforcement Administration has been forced to apologise to the engineering student.

Chong's nightmare began last year, when he went to a friend's house one evening. He was unlucky to visit the same day as DEA officers raided the property.

Hauled into custody by agents, Chong was put in a windowless cell and then simply left there, according to the Associated Press. An officer told him: "Hang tight, we'll come get you in a minute," but nobody did.

While the recovery of 18,000 ecstasy pills proved agents had been right to swoop on the house Chong was in, his subsequent custodial treatment has triggered an investigation by the justice department in Washington.

The cell-door stayed locked for days and Chong went without food or water for the whole time, his hands cuffed throughout.

The University of California student claimed he began hallucinating on day three of his ordeal that officers at the station were trying to kill him by pumping poisonous gas through the air vents.

He was reduced to urinating onto a bench and then licking it in a bid to quench his thirst.

His despair deepened when he tried to raise the alarm by triggering the water sprinkler in his cell, but failed in his attempt.

Chong said he even came to terms with the thought he was going to die. He smashed his glasses and used a broken shard to try and carve onto his arm the message: 'sorry mom'.

Chong was never charged with any offence by the DEA.

Speaking about his ordeal, he said: "It sounded like it was an accident - a really, really bad, horrible accident."