Tamil Nadu: 2-year-old, stuck in borewell for days, dies
A two-year-old, who fell into an abandoned borewell in Tamil Nadu's Tiruchirappalli last week, has died, authorities said on Tuesday morning. Sujith Wilson was playing near the borewell, whose depth was pegged at somewhere between 600 and 1,000 feet, when he fell into it on Friday. Tragically, days of rescue efforts didn't yield results. Here's everything that went down.
Initially he was stuck at 20-27 feet, but slipped further
Efforts to save the little one started on October 25 around 6 pm. Initially, it was suggested that he was trapped at a depth of 20-27 feet, but the next morning, health minister Vijayabaskar disclosed Sujith had slipped to a depth of 88 feet. The borewell's width also posed a problem. To keep the child alive, oxygen was provided to him through cylinders.
A mistake by rescue team proved costly
As it turns out, Sujith slipped further after the rescue team tried to pull him out using ropes. The personnel managed to get hold of one of his hands but struggled with another. After the "rope idea" turned out to be a blunder, authorities returned to the initial plan of digging a parallel borewell and pull him out. In the meantime, his health dipped.
SDRF and NDRF came into the picture really late
On October 26, Vijayabaskar said they couldn't hear Sujith's breath after 5:30 am that day. "More oxygen is being pumped into the borewell, we are hoping that the child will be rescued soon," he had said. It was only on Saturday that State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) and National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) took over the operation.
Even high-powered machines couldn't dig deep enough
On Sunday, rig equipment from ONGC reached the site and began drilling a 110-feet-deep hole, nearly six feet away from the abandoned borewell. At a depth of about 40 feet, the machine's problems increased as it couldn't penetrate into the rocky terrain. A second machine too couldn't dig more than 10 feet due to soil's rocky nature and rainfall.
Earlier, top official said they are taking precautions
Yesterday, Tamil Nadu Commissioner of Revenue Administration said the operation was becoming difficult due to rocky terrain. "We are working very carefully so that we do not harm the child," he said. In fact, authorities also planned to use air-filters to remove the sand from the body of Sujith, who was the son of Britto Arokiyaraj and Kala Marry. But all in vain.
Unfortunately, rescue teams failed to save him
Last night, a foul smell emanating from the borewell prompted authorities to declare that Sujith is no more. "We tried our best to rescue him but unfortunately foul smell has started coming from the borewell in which the child had fallen. As of now, the digging process has been stopped," J Radhakrishnan, Principal Secretary in the Transport Department and the Relief Commissioner told media.
His decomposed body was taken out
Sujith's body was decomposed inside the deadly borewell, and it has now been taken out. He was brought to Pudur for cremation. To note, politicians including Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former Congress President Rahul Gandhi hoped that he was rescued. But the turn of events shows that India needs to take infrastructure seriously to ensure such incidents don't repeat.