IMAGE: Tamil Nadu Deputy CM O Panneerselvam visits the site where a rescue op is being carried out to bring out 3-year-old Sujith Wislon from a 100-feet borewell in Tiruchirappalli on Sunday. Photograph: ANI
Operation to rescue a three-year-old boy who fell into a borewell in Nadukattupatti of Tiruchirappalli district on October 25, will reach final stages within four to five hours, Tamil Nadu Deputy Chief Minister O Panneerselvam said on Monday.
The infant named Sujith Wilson fell into the borewell while he was playing near his house at 5.30 pm on Friday.
Later, he slipped further down and is now stuck at 100 feet into the borewell.
Officials said on Sunday night that the child has fainted, but was breathing.
They said that a rig, which could drill up to 100 feet, has been pressed into service to make a hole parallel to the borewell about three meters away.
After completion of the drilling a tunnel like structure would be created for the use of fire service personnel to reach the child with an oxygen cylinder, the officials said, adding that they were confident of rescuing the boy.
They said steps have been taken to prevent the child from falling down further.
Highlighting that due to the presence of hard rocks in the area there is a delay in the drilling process, Panneerselvam said, “However, within four or five hours, the rescue operation will reach its final stage.”
“After the failure, it was planned to drill near the deep well. Following this, a rig machine was used,” the Deputy Chief Minister who visited the rescue operation site said.
After the rig machine was damaged due to the presence of rocks, a high-speed engine was brought for drilling from Ramanathapuram.
“This machine is currently in operation. This machine is capable of drilling 10 feet per hour. The 35-foot hole has been drilled so far,” he added.
The deputy chief minister further said that unused deep wells throughout Tamil Nadu will be closed immediately to prevent such incidents in the future.
Earlier, Panneerselvam visited the rescue operation site where efforts are underway to rescue the toddler who fell into a borewell in Nadukattupatti.
Panneerselvam’s son and Theni Lok Sabha MP O P Raveendranath Kumar also visited the site.
The deputy chief minister also met the child’s parents and consoled them. Later, he sat on the rescue site to monitor the situation.
More than six crews from the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF) as well as the State Disaster Response Force (SDRF) have been deployed to rescue Sujith.
Tamil Nadu Health and Family Welfare Minister C Vijayabaskar and Tourism Minister ‘Vellamandi’ N Nagarajan, who have been camping at the site since Friday night, said all efforts were on to rescue the child.
Thousands of people have been praying for the well being of the boy and have been joined by celebrities and politicians.
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 the borewell since Friday. I pray that he will be rescued and reunited with his distraught parents at the earliest.’
Tamil film star Rajinikanth and actor-politician Kamal Hassan also expressed hope that the boy would be safely rescued.
Speaking to reporters at his residence Tiruchirappalli, Rajinikanth said, “I pray for the safe rescue of the boy.”
“Parents should take care of children and precautionary measures should have been taken,” he said.
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 fines on those who leave borewells open,’ he tweeted.
The child had fallen into the 600 feet borewell while playing near his house at Nadukattupatti on Friday evening.
With inputs from ANI
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