Rescue operation for Indian child down well for four days

11 June, 2019 12:00 AM printer

NEW DELHI: Indian emergency workers were scrambling Monday to rescue a two-year-old boy trapped down a narrow disused well for almost four days in the western state of Punjab.

Fatehvir Singh fell into the 110-feet (33-metre) well on Thursday while playing in fields near his house, local lawmaker Vijay Inder Singla told AFP.

“The well had been covered with a sand bag but it appears the boy stepped on it and slipped and fell inside,” Singla said.

The rescue has been beset by multiple challenges, with the diameter of the well in Sangrur district just nine inches (23 cm) and it being unused since 1991.

But Singla was hopeful the boy would be rescued soon.

“We are quite hopeful that in another couple of hours we will be able to track the child,” he said.

An air ambulance was on standby and all necessary equipment including land movers and cranes had been pressed into service, he said.

TV footage showed a large crowd of people gathered at the rescue site.

Rescuers were trying to reach the boy by digging and inserting a 36-inch wide pipe parallel to the well.

They have also managed to insert an oxygen pipe into the well where the boy is trapped, as well as a camera.

In 2006, a six-year-old child named Prince was pulled out safely from a well after being stuck for 48 hours in Haryana state.

The plight of the boy was shown live by satellite channels and underscored the dangers of uncovered wells which are common across northern India.

In March a one-and-a-half-year-old child was rescued in Haryana after after being trapped for two days.