The ongoing relentless efforts to pull four-year-old Mahi out of a 70-foot-deep borewell at Kasan village here have been hampered what with the rescue teams, digging a rescue tunnel, encountering a rock.

The three-day rescue operation, which was expected to have been completed on Friday night, continued till late in the evening on Saturday, further dimming the hopes of the girl being brought out alive.

“We were just a metre away from the girl on Friday evening when we ran into the rock. It slowed down the pace of work as the team initially refrained from using drilling machines to avoid a cave-in and tried to cut the rock manually. Later, the drilling machine was also used selectively. When senior officers of the 3 Engineers Regiment reviewed the situation on Saturday afternoon, it was decided to navigate around the rock,” said District Public Relations Officer (Gurgaon) R.S. Sangwan, adding more equipment was being procured to expedite the work.

Earlier in the day, the team of Army personnel, which was initially constituted for digging the tunnel, had to be withdrawn as it was exhausted. “Continuously engaged in digging for over 36 hours, the personnel were replaced by a new team on Saturday morning,” said Mr. Sangwan.

He said the operation was going on without a break but it would be difficult to speculate how long it would take. “It is a rocky terrain. We are trying our level best to pull out the girl at the earliest.” A two-member team of paediatricians from the Medanta Medicity Hospital was also stationed at the spot on Friday night in anticipation of the operation being completed anytime soon.

Besides, two ambulances of the Gurgaon Civil Hospital and one from the Army were present at the spot and adequate arrangements had been made at a hospital in Manesar.

To a query, Mr. Sangwan said: “The girl has been supplied oxygen since she fell into the borewell on Wednesday night, but there is no update on her condition as of now. Cameras lowered into the borewell time and again have not captured any movement, but then there is no space for them. Also, it is not possible to supply food and water to the girl with the borewell being so narrow.”