The two-year-old boy, who is trapped in a borewell in Tamil Nadu’s Trichy for over 60 hours, had fainted but was breathing, authorities said on Sunday night. Initially, the boy, Sujith, had been stuck at a depth of 26 feet but later slipped to 70 feet after rescuers tried to pull him up using a rope. The rescue team is drilling a one-meter-wide tunnel parallel to the borewell to reach him but the progress is slow due to the rocky terrain. Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam visited the site yesterday and met Sujith’s family.
After drilling, the fire service personnel will try to reach the child after carving a horizontal passage.
Measures are being taken to prevent the child from slipping further to a depth of 90 feet, officials said.
According to the police, Sujith, who had been playing near the borewell, fell in at around 5.30 pm on Friday night. There are conflicting reports about the depth of the hole- some say it is 600 feet deep, while others say it is at least 1,000 feet.
Sujith has been in the borewell without food and water. Oxygen is being supplied but he has stopped responding to calls.
A team of 25 personnel, including those from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), has been pressed into the rescue operation.
Tamil Nadu ministers C Vijayabaskar and ”Vellamandi” N Nagarajan are at the spot, along with senior state officials.
O Panneerselvam has denied the charge. “We have deployed an advanced rig which can drill five feet in an hour. Rescue work had begun an hour after information was received,” he said.
Critics say there is no standard operation procedure for such incidents, and the state and central governments have not developed technology to rescue children trapped in borewells.
As the rescuers race against time, prayers for the safety of the child have started in the state.