Rescuers racing against time to save toddler from borewell in Tamil Nadu
Rescuers are racing against time to save a two-year-old boy who fell into a 600 feet abandoned borewell near Trichy in Tamil Nadu on Friday even as special prayers are being conducted in temples, mosques and churches across the state for the rescue of Surjith Wilson.
Second rig started drilling nearby the tube well at around 9 pm on Sunday. It is more than 51 hours that the boy is trapped in the borewell.
Six firefighters have been ready to go down the new well before the boring machine hit the rocky terrain.
“As the boy is under 88 feet in the tube well, we have decided to trill up to 90 feet by the rig nearby the borewell,” said Tamil Nadu Health Minister Vijayabhaskar who is supervising the rescue mission
Rescuers had resumed their efforts late Saturday to pull out Surjith amid signs that the well could cave in.
Rescue efforts had to be suspended for some time Saturday after the vehicle carrying the rig developed a snag 15km from the accident spot. The rig was requisitioned from the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation (ONGC) to speed up the efforts to rescue the trapped toddler, who has now slipped from the initial 25ft to 100ft.
On Saturday, Vijayabaskar had estimated that the tunneling operation could take three to four hours before rescuers could approach the child.
Surjith, the second child of his parents Britto Arockiaraj and Kala Mary, was playing when he fell into the borewell, dug for agricultural purposes in the farmland adjoining their house. The well was abandoned as there was no water in it.
The rescue operation has picked up speed after the arrival of the State Disaster Rescue Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Rescue Force (NDRF). They joined the six teams already engaged in the marathon exercise which began around 6.30 pm on Friday.
Initially, Trichy’s superintendent of police Zia Ul Haq expressed confidence that the child, then trapped at a depth of 25 ft, would be rescued within an hour. But, it has turned out to be a huge challenge.
So far 10 attempts have been made, including four to lift the toddler through a rope with a knot, but they have proved futile. Incessant drizzle in the area has also hampered the efforts.
The latest incident has again brought to the fore the dangers of uncovered borewells as many have fallen to their deaths into them. A two-year-old boy died after he was stuck inside a borewell for nearly 110 hours in Punjab’s Sangrur in June this year.