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Race against time to save boy, eight, stuck down a 400ft well in Madhya Pradesh, India for 16 hours

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Race against time to save boy, eight, stuck down a 400ft well for 16 hours: Diggers are brought in in desperate bid to save child in India

  • Authorities say Tanmay Sahu is lodged at around 55ft in the well
  • Tanmay was playing in a field in Madhya Pradesh when he fell on Tuesday
  • Rescuers are administering oxygen to the boy, who is ‘not responding’

Rescuers in India’s central state of Madhya Pradesh are racing against the clock to save an eight-year-old boy who has been trapped inside a well for more than 16 hours. 

Authorities say Tanmay Sahu is lodged at around 55ft in the 400ft-deep well.

The state’s disaster response force is helping with the rescue efforts in Betul district. 

Tanmay was playing in a field when he fell into the borewell on Tuesday evening.

Authorities say Tanmay Sahu (pictured) is lodged at around 55ft in the 400ft-deep well. The state’s disaster response force is helping with the rescue efforts in Betul district

The state's disaster response force is helping with the rescue efforts in Betul district

Tanmay was playing in a field when he fell into the borewell on Tuesday evening. Jayaswal told news agency ANI: ‘At 2.30am in the night SDRF [State Disaster Response Force], Home guards, and Police teams reached the spot to rescue the child. It might take another two-three hours’

Rescuers are administering oxygen to the boy. 

Betul Additional district magistrate Shyamendra Jayaswal said he may be unconscious as he was ‘not responding’. 

Jayaswal told news agency ANI: ‘The rescue operation has been underway since we received the information. Efforts are being made to take out the child. 

‘At 2.30am in the night SDRF [State Disaster Response Force], Home guards, and Police teams reached the spot to rescue the child. It might take another two-three hours.’ 

Jaiswal added: ‘It is taking more time than what we expected because there are stones. 

‘We called a breaker machine at night to break the stones. JCB and poclain machines are also being used.’ 

Tanmay’s father, Sunil Sahu, told India newspaper The Hindu that the boy fell into the borewell while playing around 5pm on December 6.

He said he was playing in the farm and then he went to another field where the incident occurred. 

‘My 12-year-old daughter saw him and informed me that he fell into the borewell. We immediately rushed to the spot. He was breathing and we listened to his sound from the borewell. The rescue operation was started from 6pm onwards on Tuesday,’ Sahu told the publication.  

State chief minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan tweeted: ‘The incident of an 8-year-old boy falling into a borewell in Mandvi village of Aathner block of Betul is sad. 

‘I have instructed the local administration to take the necessary steps. I am in constant touch with the administration. 

‘The rescue team is trying to save the child safely. I pray for the well-being of the innocent.’

One video shared online shows a crowd at night watching as rescuers continue with the operation.

An image posted on social media shows a yellow tube being dangled down the hole to provide oxygen for the boy.  

Rescuers are administering oxygen to the boy. Betul Additional district magistrate Shyamendra Jayaswal said he may be unconscious as he was 'not responding'

Rescuers are administering oxygen to the boy. Betul Additional district magistrate Shyamendra Jayaswal said he may be unconscious as he was ‘not responding’

State disaster management teams have been sent from Hoshangabad city and the state’s capital Bhopal.

It is common for farmers in India to set up borewells – deep wells dug into the ground for irrigation – due to water shortages. 

The wells are left open once they are out of use, which means that they present a risk to the public. 

Numerous children have become trapped inside narrow borewells and have died from suffocation as a result. 

In May, a six-year-old boy who fell into a 300-foot-deep borewell died after a seven-hour-long rescue operation at Khiala Bulanda village in Uttar Pradesh, northern India. 

Last December, a one-year-old girl was rescued from a borewell in Madhya Pradesh’s Chatarpur, reported ANI.

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