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Operation resumes for child trapped in Punjab borewell

June 09, 2019 10:17 AM

CHANDIGARH: Rescuers resumed operation on Sunday after five hours of technical snag to recover a two-year-old boy who fell into a 150-foot-deep abandoned borewell four days ago in a village in Punjab's Sangrur district, officials said here.

Still digging of 10-12 feet is required in the parallel newly laid 36-inch diameter shaft to reach the child who is believed to be stuck at a depth of 110 feet in the borewell that has a nine-inch diameter.

"Now experts have managed to insert a new digging rig in the well, so the digging started after five hours of halt. It was basically a natural obstruction," a state government official overseeing the rescue operation told IANS.

A team of doctors and ambulances have been stationed round the clock at the spot.

A movement in the child's body was noticed at 5 a.m. on Saturday, almost 40 hours after the incident.

The parallel tunnel is being dug manually to reach the child, Fatehveer Singh, who is turning two on June 10, a rescuer told IANS on phone.

After digging the parallel tunnel, a passage to create access to the child would be made through another horizontal tunnel, he said.

Adequate supply of oxygen inside the well is being provided and a camera is being used to monitor the child. His movements are being monitored regularly, Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori told reporters on Saturday.

"There is some swelling on his hands, which indicates the child is conscious," he added.

The child fell into the man-made structure that was covered with cement bags on Thursday at around 4 p.m., his mother said. She appealed to the public to pray for the survival of her son.

The rescue team, comprising 26 members of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and the Indian Army with district administration staff, has been involved in the day-and-night operation at Bhagwanpura in Sunam subdivision.

Followers of Sirsa-based Dera Sacha Sauda were also involved in the rescue operation.

An attempt was made earlier to pull out the child with the help of a rope. He has been tied with a rope to prevent him from slipping down, a rescuer said.

The NRDF said this is one of toughest operations as the depth of the well is considerable.

The borewell has been abandoned for over seven years. This was the second such incident in the area in less than three months.

On March 22, a one-and-a-half-year-old boy, who fell into a 70-foot narrow borewell in Haryana's Hisar district, was rescued after a 48-hour operation.

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