Rescuers have saved a 7-year-old girl who was trapped inside a bore well 14 meters (46 ft) deep after a 9-hour frantic operation in southern Vietnam.
More than two hundred people, including rescuers, borewell drilling workers, police officers and four excavators moved hundreds of cubic meters of land to find the girl and bring her up at around 2 a.m. this morning.
The girl, Tu Anh, was trembling and had a few scratches and bruises, but otherwise conscious and stable, the rescuers said.
Tu Anh and her mother at Binh Duong Hospital. Photo credit: VnExpress
Tu Anh was playing with some friends near her house in Binh Duong Province at around 4.30 p.m. Tuesday when she fell into the borewell, which is said to be 80 (262 ft) meters deep, 40 centimetres (1.3 ft) in diameter.
She was stuck about 14 meter underground, where the well gets narrower, in a standing position with arms raised overhead, according to the rescuers, who arrived at the scene at around 5 p.m.
They inserted plastic tube into the hole to provide her with oxygen and milk. They also dropped the knotted end of a rescue rope and asked her to tighten it around her wrists to prevent her from falling further.
A rescuer kept talking down to Tu Anh to comfort the girl, who was crying in her panic, as well as to keep her awake.
Meanwhile, the excavators moved soil to expand the hole, but they had to stop at around 9 p.m. after when they reached the depth of more than 8 meters, where the soil became softer and collapsible.
Professional well diggers with knowledge of the local soil structure started drilling another hole, 1 meter in diameter, along the borewell to reach the girl.
A rescuer carries the girl, wrapped in a blanket, to a waiting ambulance. Photo: Do Truong
It took another four and half hours and more than six meters deeper before they could feel the girl’s arm.
“We could touch her arm, but still had to move a lot of soil around her body before we could get her out,” said Tran Le Phuong, 32, a well digger with 7-year experience. The girl was brought up 10 minutes later.
Tran Le Phuong, an experienced well digger who participated in the rescue operation. Photo: Do Truong
Tu Anh’s mother, who passed out during the rescue operation and was rushed to hospital, she felt “deeply grateful” for the rescuers’ efforts.
VnExpress news website has quoted an official of Binh Duong as saying that the authorities will investigate the responsibility of the borewell owner.