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Two-year-old Karnataka infant trapped in borewell rescued after 20-hour operation

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VIJAYAPURA (KARNATAKA), April 4: After a nearly 20-hour-long operation, the two-year-old boy who fell into an open borewell in Lachyana village of Indi Taluk in this district was rescued on Thursday afternoon, police said.

The child, Satvik Satish Mujagond, was heard crying inconsolably as the rescue operation was underway since Wednesday evening. Celebrations broke out as he was pulled out from a depth of 16 feet inside the borewell.

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“He was immediately shifted to the ambulance stationed at the spot with a medical team. No visible injury marks were seen on his body when he was taken out of the borewell,” said a senior police officer.

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said the efficiency of the staff and public who worked round the clock for the protection of the child is commendable.

“I was happy to see that the wishes of the child’s family and millions of people of the country have come true. The little boy, who had conquered death, is back in the arms of his parents,” Siddaramaiah said.

Police said the child was shifted to a hospital at Indi where he was given preliminary treatment and was later shifted to a district hospital. He is currently stated to be stable, they said.

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The child’s parents expressed happiness and showered gratitude wholeheartedly to all the personnel and officials involved in rescuing their child safely.

The empty borewell into which the child fell was dug on Tuesday.

A 32-member team drawn from the Fire and Emergency Services department along with National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) and State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) personnel were involved in the rescue operations.

Chief Fire Officer (Hubballi), Ravi Prasad told PTI that the presence of hard rocks was a major challenge faced by the team while digging a parallel trench to rescue the child.

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“Our Indi fire station received a rescue call on Wednesday at 6.15 pm. Our team with a water tender immediately went to the spot. Immediately our staff tied a knot to the child’s feet with a rope so the sliding of the child could be stopped. This was a major advantage to us.

“The medical team which reached the spot ensured timely oxygen supply to the child. With the help of an earth mover, another team of fire department started digging a trench parallel to the existing borewell into which the child had fallen. Our fire department teams from Belagavi and Hubballi which are trained in borewell related works also joined the rescue operation,” he said.

At 2 am, two SDRF teams also joined the operation. In coordination with them, the excavation of a trench which was about 21 feet was completed.

“Since the boy was trapped at a depth of 16 feet, we tried digging vertically and horizontally to the borewell but because of hard rocks, we found it difficult to dig. Later, the blasting team dug a horizontal cutting along with the SDRF and fire team,”  the fire officer said.

By Thursday morning, the NDRF team also joined the rescue operation which lasted for nearly 20 hours.

While the rescue operation was in full swing, a camera was lowered in the borewell to analyse the situation. The movement of his feet was being continuously monitored through the camera.

According to police, the child fell into the empty borewell when he went out to play near his house. The matter came to light when someone heard the child cry and immediately informed the family. The boy is believed to have fallen head first into the borewell.

The rescuers spread a sheet and managed to pull out the baby with the help of a rope, police said.

Minister for Large and Medium Scale Industries M B Patil, who is in charge of Vijayapura, urged people to not neglect empty borewells and make proper arrangements to ensure that such incidents are not repeated in future.

He has directed the district administration to conduct a survey in the district to identify any borewells that are left open.

There is already a provision in the law allowing stringent action against those who leave borewells open. Using this law, legal steps will be initiated against those who have not bothered to close borewells, he said.

JD(S) leader and former Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy said: “It was a very tough and challenging rescue operation and I am very very happy that the child’s life was saved. Not only the parents but the entire nation owes a debt to all the NDRF, SDRF, fire brigade and police personnel who saved the child.” (PTI)





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