A new borewell is being drilled to rescue two-year-old Sujith Wilson, who fell into a 600-feet borewell in Nadukkatupatti village in Tamil Nadu’s Tiruchirappalli district on Friday night, The Hindu reported on Sunday. Several attempts by rescuers to reach the toddler, who has been stuck in the borewell for more than 40 hours, have failed.

“A parallel borewell is being dug...efforts are on...we have a technical team at the spot comprising officials from Larsen and Toubro, Oil and Natural Gas Corporation, Neyveli Lignite Corporation Limited,” PTI quoted J Radhakrishnan, the principal secretary of the Disaster Management and Mitigation department as saying. “The chief minister has issued orders to ensure that rescue efforts be carried out without any hindrance.”

The new metre-wide borewell will be used to connect to the one where the boy is trapped using a horizontal passage, NDTV reported.

Wilson’s condition is unknown as officials lost contact with him on Saturday morning, but oxygen is being pumped to his purported location. The incident came to light on Friday when the boy’s parents, Britto Arogiyaraj and Kalairani, realised he was missing. According to the Police said Wilson fell into the borewell while playing near it around Friday evening. An earlier rescue attempt by digging nearby areas with earth movers was reportedly stopped after the machines hit a layer of rock.

District authorities said a request for a drilling rig with twice the power of the existing one was made on Sunday. “The drilling bit of the first one from Ariyalur has been become blunt due to drilling through the hard rock 20 feet below the ground,” District Collector S Sivarasu told The Hindu. The current rig was able to get through only two to three feet per hour.

Health Minister C Vijayabaskar, who is overseeing the mission, said the borewell was being dug slowly as the child should not get disturbed or hurt.

A team from Anna University in Chennai used a thermal device on Saturday around 4 pm to detect Wilson’s body temperature and claimed that he could be unconscious, adding that there was no way to confirm his condition.

The administration has faced flak for using inefficient equipment. Vijayabaskar said the officials were prepared to rescue the boy from a depth of 25 feet, where he was initially spotted. However, the child later slipped down to almost 70 feet.

The health minister claimed that a high-powered drill would be employed soon, helping rescuers to finish the process in five hours.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi on Sunday said he was praying for the child’s rescue. “While the nation celebrates Deepavali, in Tamil Nadu a race against time is underway to save baby Surjeeth, who has been trapped in a borewell since Friday,” he tweeted.

Actor-politician Rajinikanth also said he was hoping for Wilson’s safe return. “The government and officials are working well... they have been working hard and cannot fault them,” he said, according to NDTV. “I think precautionary measures should have been taken.”

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan called for the imposition of exorbitant fines for unsealed borewells. “In Tamil Nadu, it is a cause for worry that children fall into such deep wells,” he tweeted. “The government must be fined for failure to close deep, abandoned wells.”

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