The joint rescue operation by the district administration and the Army to pull out four-year-old Mahi, who had fallen into a 70-foot-deep borewell outside her house at Kasan village here, continued for the second day on Friday.

The operation is now in its final phase with the jawans relentlessly digging a tunnel to the borewell. “After a pit parallel to the borewell was dug up with a rig machine late Wednesday night, Army personnel started digging the tunnel. The two pits are separated by three metres and the jawans’ team has already dug up two metres in the past 12-14 hours,” District Public Relations Officer (Gurgaon) R. S. Sangwan said on Friday evening.

However, digging the tunnel so deep into the earth is turning arduous with little elbow space for the jawans to manoeuvre. “The pit parallel to the borewell has a width of only 75 cm and the digging is being done manually and slowly to avoid a cave-in. We have constituted a team of nine jawans who take turns to be lowered into the pit to dig the tunnel. Carrying out the digging work, in a hanging posture, at a depth of over 65 feet is very difficult and the jawans have to be pulled out every 15-20 minutes,” said Mr. Sangwan.

A team of Reliance Industries Limited was also called in to help identify the exact location of the girl with the Ground Penetrating Radar Technique. “It is being used to ensure that the tunnel is dug at the right height to reach the girl,” said Mr. Sangwan.

In spite of the sustained rescue efforts, doctors say the prospects of Mahi’s survival appear bleak. “Staying so long in a tunnel without food and water in the prevailing weather conditions could lead to dehydration and several other medical complications. It is difficult to comment on her chances of survival, but miracles do happen,” Chief Medical Officer (Civil Hospital) Parveen Garg said, adding arrangements were in place at the spot to provide medical aid to the girl the moment she was pulled out of the borewell.


Wells of life – and deathJune 26, 2012