Tiruchirapalli: Time running out for rescue of 3-year-old

Tiruchirapalli: Time running out for rescue of 3-year-old

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Sujith is stuck in an abandoned borewell for 80 hours.

Tiruchirapalli: Time running out for rescue of 3-year-old
A fire fighter dons a mask to try out a planned descent into the alternate tunnel in Nadukattupatti.

Tiruchirapalli: A heavy, German-made drilling machine has been deployed to dig a parallel shaft to reach the 3-year-old boy Sujith Wilson stuck in an abandoned borewell at a depth of 88 feet for the last nearly 80 hours, but rescue efforts were still being hampered by rocky soil and rain, officials admitted on Monday.

Two Fire and Rescue Services personnel were lowered into the freshly drilled shaft, using a ladder and with necessary support like oxygen, for initial assessment of the condition inside, they said.

“We don’t know the condition of the child right now,” an official said.

As operations stretched into the fourth day, the sleepy village of Nadukattupatti, about 40 km from here, was teeming with people from neighbouring villages to witness the elaborate rescue efforts for the boy who fell into the disused farm borewell while playing near his house at 5.30 pm on Friday.

Officials on the site indicated that approximately 50 feet of parallel shaft has been dug and after reaching further “right depth,” horizontal tunnelling of about six feet is on the cards to reach the trapped child.

TN Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami said he has briefed the Prime Minister on the extensive steps taken by the government to save Sujith Wilson from the disused borewell at Nadukattupatti village in Tiruchirapalli district.

It is learnt that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had spoken to the CM over the phone even as anguished citizens across the country flooded the social media with their prayers for Sujith’s safe retrieval from deep under the earth, even as the third day passed without much success at the rescue site.

Palaniswami, in a tweet, said that three ministers have been deputed along with top administrative officials, fire and rescue service personnel and the National and State Disaster Response Teams.

Congress MP Jothimani too has been at the site most of the time actively participating in the discussions on strategy.

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