One foot was what separated Mahi from her rescuers for a good 24 hours. The rescue operation had hit a roadblock on Friday afternoon after Army personnel found a rock while drilling the tunnel just one foot away from Mahi.
Mahi had been trapped in the borewell for over 82 hours and her rescuers were drilling a tunnel to reach the borewell.
As there was a threat of soil caving in, the drilling had to be carried out manually after that roadblock.
The rescuers, including personnel from the engineering wing of the Army from Delhi cantonment, took help of Ground Penetrating Radar System (GPRS) to get an idea of the potential underground obstruction.
However, the GPRS was of little help.
A team of the Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) was also roped in, but its GPS-based tracker devices failed too.
After prolonged deliberations on the plan of action, a local man named Saurav Khan, who makes septic latrines in villages, was roped in. Khan was the first to spot the child around 5.30am on Sunday.
Initially, Khan along with Army rescuers had tried to pierce through the rock, but the team had to change its plan late in the evening on Saturday.
They, instead, approached the girl by deviating through the edges of the rock and made a small ramp to pull her out.
But the child remained struck before she was finally pulled out at 1.28pm on Sunday.
Haryana chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda expressed grief over the death of the four-year-old girl.
He said the government would provide all assistance to the bereaved family, adding that a magisterial enquiry had already been ordered into the incident.
Hooda said those found guilty would be punished.