The 4-year-old died of asphyxia a couple of hours after she fell into borewell on Wednesday night: post mortem report

All hopes of four-year-old Mahi coming alive out of the 70-foot-deep borewell at Kasna village here were dashed on Sunday afternoon, when Army personnel brought out her decomposed body after an 86-hour rescue operation that had kept the people nationwide glued to their TV sets.

The operation — launched soon after Mahi fell into the borewell on Wednesday night during her birthday celebrations and was prolonged by almost 48 hours as the rescue team ran into rocky terrain — ended around 1.30 p.m. on Sunday, when a team of personnel pulled her out.

The girl, wrapped in a green cloth, was immediately rushed to the ESIC Hospital at Manesar in an Army ambulance, amid loud applause by locals who had gathered at the spot in large numbers since early morning, anticipating a successful climax. But the child was declared dead on arrival at the hospital. The body was then sent to the Gurgaon Civil Hospital mortuary.

Post-mortem revealed that Mahi died of asphyxia just in a couple of hours of the fall. “She died three-four hours after she fell into the borewell,” said a doctor at the Gurgaon Civil Hospital.

The rescue team had reached Mahi in the early hours of Sunday, negotiating around a boulder in the rescue tunnel, but there was delay as it had to cut through a rock in the borewell also, where the bloated body was found stuck.

“While digging the borewell, the house owner had hit a rocky terrain. He tried to cut through the rock but abandoned it when he could not do so. It was in this rock that Mahi’s body was found stuck. The rescue teams encountered boulders twice while digging the tunnel also, and this caused the delay,” Gurgaon Deputy Commissioner P.C. Meena said.

Cases filed

He said separate cases were registered against house owner Rohtash and the contractor who had sunk the illegal borewell. “Three police teams have been constituted to trace and arrest them. So far, our priority had been to pull out the girl. Now that the operation is over, we hope to catch them soon.”

Delayed response

The girl’s parents and relatives blamed the death on the district administration’s delayed response. “Had the administration responded quickly to the situation, she would have been alive today. The police reached the spot almost two hours after they were informed. The efforts to pull her out gathered pace only on Thursday morning, after the Army was called in,” said Mithilesh, a close relative.

An inconsolable Sonia, mother of Mahi, almost collapsed in grief soon after the news was broken to the family. She had to be physically lifted by women police personnel and taken away from the hospital gate.

Earlier, around noon, the crowd grew restless as the rescue operation drew out. The people started shouting slogans against the administration, but the situation was soon brought under control.