Punjab Toddler, Stuck in Borewell for 110 Hours, Dies

Fatehvir Singh was rushed to the hospital after rescue, where he was declared dead, said media reports.

Updated11 Jun 2019, 04:03 AM IST
3 min read

A two-year-old child, who had fallen into a 150-foot-deep unused borewell in Punjab’s Sangrur while playing, was pulled out of it on Tuesday, 11 June, in a frantic rescue operation after almost 110 hours, an official said. However, the child, Fatehvir Singh, was declared dead hours after the rescue.

Fatehvir Singh, who was the only child of his parents and turned two on Monday, fell into the unused seven-inch wide borewell in a field around 4 pm on Thursday, 6 June, when he was playing near his house in Bhagwanpura village in Sangrur area.

Punjab Chief Minister Amarinder Singh condoled the child’s death and added that he has sought a report regarding open borewells.

A massive rescue operation was launched to bring the child safely out of the borewell. Officials managed to supply oxygen but no food or water could be provided to him.

Villagers Protest Over Delay in Rescue Ops

Earlier, on Monday, 10 June, one of the rescuers said that the depth of the parallel borewell, that was dug to rescue the child, was more than the level at which he was stuck and it led to the unwanted delay.

An ultra-sophisticated, high-density drilling equipment had been pressed into service to detect the exact direction and distance through sensor, district Deputy Commissioner Ghanshyam Thori said.

Even as frantic rescue operation was underway to pull out the toddler, a large number of people assembled around the site and several of them raised slogans against the state government for the delay.

Villagers held a protest and blocked the Sunam-Mansa road for sometime, as they blamed the district administration for not being able to bring out the child since four days. Heavy police was deployed around the site to prevent any untoward incident.

No food or water could be provided to the child after he fell into the borewell, officials said, adding that oxygen was being supplied to him.

A team of the National Disaster Response Force (NDRF), the police, civil authorities, villagers and volunteers were carrying out the operation amid scorching heat.

Angry villagers alleged that the district administration was lacking experts and required technology in dealing with such an emergency situation.

Sensing anger of villagers, the grandfather of Fatehvir Singh urged people to be patient and exercise restraint.

State minister Gurpreet Kangar rejected the accusations of any negligence on the part of the state government in retrieving the child, saying it was constantly monitoring the situation.

"Whatever services the government could provide, it is providing (for the rescue). We have made arrangements for providing best medical care to the child. If they say there is negligence (on part of government), it is completely wrong," Kangar said in Chandigarh.

Deputy Commissioner: ‘Toughest Operation of the NDRF’

Thori said that it was the toughest operation of the NDRF.

"It has never ever conducted such an operation at this depth. Usually in other cases for saving child, the depth of borewell was just 40-50 feet. We had clamped both the hands of the child, but it is our bad luck that Fatehvir was stuck in seven-inch wide borewell," he said.

Singla said the NDRF, civil authorities, villagers and volunteers had been involved in rescue operations day and night.

Several Opposition leaders, including Akali leader Parminder Singh Dhindsa, Lok Insaaf Party leader Simarjeet Bains and AAP leader Harpal Cheema visited the site and blamed the state government over delay in retrieving the child. Sikh religious preacher Baljit Singh Daduwal also visited the site.

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(This story was auto-published from a syndicated feed. No part of the story has been edited by The Quint.)

Published: 10 Jun 2019, 11:35 PM IST

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