National Disaster Response Force personnel pulled out a two-year-old boy who had fallen into a 150-foot-deep unused borewell in Sangrur, Punjab after 109 hours early on Tuesday. However, Fatehveer Singh died after he was taken to a hospital in Chandigarh, reported The Indian Express.
Singh fell into the borewell in a field when he was playing in Bhagwanpura village on Thursday around 4 pm. The borewell was covered with a cloth and the boy accidentally stepped on it. His mother tried to rescue him, but failed. He was stuck in the seven-inch wide borewell at a depth of 125 feet.
A rescue operation was launched to pull the child out safely. Officials managed to supply oxygen but no food or water could be provided to him.
A parallel tunnel of 36 inches in diameter was dug to rescue the child. On June 6, the NDRF team suspended a rope into the borewell, but the child could not be pulled out. “This method was followed on day one, but the team could not succeed and it was tried almost every day, but as the child couldn’t be retrieved via clamping, they were following another method of creating a parallel borewell and reaching the borewell via a tunnel,” Sangrur Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori told The Indian Express.
The borewell was dug by Singh’s family in 1984. They used to draw water from it to irrigate the fields. It was last used in 1991.
Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh said he was very sad to hear about the death. “I pray Waheguru grants his family strength to bear this huge loss,” he tweeted. “Have sought reports from all DCs regarding any open bore well, so such terrible accidents can be prevented in future.”
On Monday evening, the chief minister said he was “constantly monitoring the rescue operations” after villagers protested against an alleged delay in the rescue operation. Many people assembled around the accident site and also blocked the Sunam-Mansa road, reported NDTV.
Opposition parties criticised Singh. Sangrur MP and Aam Aadmi Party’s Punjab unit chief Bhagwant Mann accused the state government of an “inordinate delay” in the rescue operation.