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Rocks at Parallel Drilling Site Delay Efforts to Rescue 2-Yr-Old Surjith Stuck 90-Feet Down Borewell in TN

Surjith, who fell into the 600-feet borewell while playing near his house at Nadukattupatti on Friday evening, was initially stuck at a depth of 35 feet, but drifted further to over 90 feet with efforts to rescue him.

Poornima Murali | CNN-News18

Updated:October 27, 2019, 4:14 PM IST
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Rocks at Parallel Drilling Site Delay Efforts to Rescue 2-Yr-Old Surjith Stuck 90-Feet Down Borewell in TN
A boring machine reaches the spot as efforts are underway to dig a parallel hole to rescue 2-year-old Surjith from a borewell in Nadukattupatti in Tamil Nadu. (Image: Twitter/@ANI)

Chennai: Efforts to save two-year-old Surjith who is trapped at a depth of 90-feet down an abandoned borewell have entered the third day with rescue teams digging a parallel hole in an attempt to reach the child.

An ONGC rig began ploughing the ground less than 15 feet from the borewell but rocks at the drilling site hampered operations, news agency ANI reported. The rescue efforts are being monitored by the NDRF, SDRF and fire services personnel.

The rescue operation suffered a setback overnight as the child slipped further down the borewell. Surjith, who fell into the 600-feet borewell while playing near his house at Nadukattupatti on Friday evening, was initially stuck at a depth of 35 feet, but drifted further to over 90 feet with efforts to rescue him commencing on Friday evening.

Oxygen is being continuously supplied to the boy. According to officials, six teams were involved in the rescue operations.

"We could hear the child weeping… for a long time... but now we cannot hear. But we feel the child is safe and breathing," the officials said.

Authorities said they were unable to assess the boy's condition because of the layers of wet mud around him.

Specialised teams of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and state Disaster Response Force (SDRF) joined the rescue operations. State Health and Family Welfare Minister C Vijayabaskar, who has been camping at the site since Friday night, said all efforts were on to save the child.

Minister Vellamandi Natarajan was also overseeing the rescue operations.

Hundreds of people in the state prayed for the child, with political leaders like DMK president MK Stalin and AMMK leader TTV Dhinakaran joining them in wishing that the boy was rescued at the earliest.

Celebrities and politicians also joined thousands of people in praying for the well being of the boy.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi in a tweet said, "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. I pray that he will be rescued and reunited with his distraught parents at the earliest."

Tamil Superstar Rajinikanth and Actor-politician Kamal Hassan also expressed hope that the boy would be safely rescued.

Speaking to reporters at his residence here, Rajinikanth said, "I pray for the safe rescue of the boy."

"Parents should take care of children and precautionery measures should have been taken," he said.

Actor-politician Kamal Haasan expressed concern over repeated incidents of children falling into defunct borewells.

"Efforts to rescue the child who is in danger should succeed. The government should impose hefty fine on those who left borewells open," he tweeted.

According to officials, efforts to rescue the child included the use of modern equipment. Meanwhile, the district administration ordered that all open bore wells in the district be closed.

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