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Boy trapped in 80-foot-deep borewell rescued after 104 hours in Chhattisgarh

10-year-old Rahul Sahu being rescued from a borewell. Photo: Twitter/@bhupeshbaghel

10-year-old Rahul Sahu being rescued from a borewell. Photo: Twitter/@bhupeshbaghel

Following a rescue operation that lasted for over 104 hours and involved at least 500 people, Rahul Sahu, a 10-year-old disabled child from Janjgir-Champa district who fell into an 80-foot-deep borewell on June 10, was rescued late on June 14. 

Around midnight on June 14 Rahul was brought out of the tunnel on a stretcher by members of the rescue team. Later, he was taken to the Apollo Hospital in Bilaspur in an ambulance, for which a green corridor was created.

“It’s a collective victory for all of us... Rahul is currently stable and we are providing him with the best treatment possible,” Janjgir-Champa Collector Jitendra Shukla said after the rescue operation. Mr. Shukla also hailed Rahul for his fighting spirit in adverse conditions. He revealed that there was a snake and a frog next to the boy, a fact concealed by the administration to prevent panic.

Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel, who was closely monitoring the situation over the last four days, tweeted that the good wishes and tireless and committed efforts by the rescue team had led to the success of the operation. He wished Rahul a speedy recovery. 

Doctors said they would closely monitor the boy, who, despite showing resilience as the operation continued, had weakened considerably due to limited intake of food and fluids. Prolonged exposure to water and mud inside the borewell could have caused some skin issues too. 

Teams from the Army, the National Disaster Response Force, the State Disaster Response Force, and local administration were involved in the operation that saw digging a deep pit parallel to the one in which Rahul was trapped, and connecting the two through a tunnel. 

However, digging a deep pit in a rocky terrain constantly posed the challenge of debris caving in. Teams also had to ask the villagers to pump water out continuously through other nearby borewells as rapid groundwater recharge could have proved dangerous at the depth at which Rahul was stuck. 

After excavators had done their job, ground teams, equipped with drill machines, stepped in to complete the last leg of the tunnel. The last 1.5 feet was particularly challenging as it involved digging through hard rock and any mistake could have led to an accident, according to rescue teams. 

A large crowd gathered at the spot hailed the rescuers for their efforts. 

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2022 3:23:09 am | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/chhattisgarh-boy-trapped-in-80-foot-deep-borewell-rescued-after-over-100-hours/article65528094.ece