Cafe employee Jarrod Hoffman, 19, was among those held hostage for 17 hours when gunman Man Haron Monis entered the Lindt Cafe in Martin Place on December 15, 2014.

Hoffman had a Stanley knife in his pocket that he used to cut up boxes earlier in the morning. He said he knew something was not right when his manager, Tori Johnson, asked him to lock the cafe as Monis had demanded.

Monis told the hostages he had a bomb in his backpack, which he did not take off during the siege.

"I thought, 'Do I stab him? What if I miss? What are the consequences of that? Who is he going to shoot? He could kill us all."

Customer John O'Brien, 83, recalled the moment he managed to open a door to allow himself and another hostage to escape.

"I waited for him [Monis] to be a little bit distracted, then we made a move and I sat on the floor, turned onto my left side and then I crawled over behind the Lindt coffee sign," O'Brien said.

Hoffman told that when O'Brien and fellow hostage Stefan Balafoutis left, Monis threatened to shoot  people. Monis shot manager Johnson to death after five more hostages escaped.

Marcia Mikhael recalled the final moments of the ordeal in an interview with Channel Seven.

"There was no sound, there was no struggle, there  was no dialogue or yelling or anything, it was complete silence and then bang -  the second shot," she said.

Fellow hostage Katrina Dawson died after being struck by fragments of bullets fired by police as they entered the building.

Eight hostages so far have sold their stories to commercial television networks in a ratings battle believed to be worth millions.

There were reports that some of those interviewed about their experience in the cafe were paid more than USD 300,000.

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