Rescuers on Sunday pulled out four-year-old Mahi dead from a 70-foot-deep borewell near Manesar in Haryana where she was trapped for the last four days.
“Mahi has been pulled out from the borewell. She is dead,” Gurgaon District Magistrate P C Meena said.
On Saturday night, rescuers pierced a hard rock in their effort to reach the girl, trapped in the pit since June 20.
The hard rock was a major hurdle which the rescuers had been struggling to break for the last three days. The slab was located in the horizontal tunnel between the borewell and the pit dug up to rescue the child.
Mahi fell into the borewell at Kho village near Manesar while playing with her friends on June 20, her fourth birthday.
Over 100 officials drawn from the Army, fire, police, Gurgaon Rapid Metrorail, health and revenue departments and locals were involved in drilling the pit parallel to the borewell. Deepak Mathur, CEO of ESI Hospital in Manesar where Mahi’s body was taken, said the child could have been saved.
“It is bit difficult but there could have been the possibility of the child’s survival even on oxygen alone... She died due to lack of air... She could not breathe,” he said. He said oxygen was constantly supplied to Mahi since the beginning of the rescue operation but the survival depended on when it was being supplied.
“If it has been more than four-five hours (after Mahi fell into the pit), by then she would be dead,” he said.
“She died due to asphyxia (suffocation) within five or six hours after she fell into the borewell,” said Mathur, who conducted the post-mortem.
Her body was highly decomposed, indicating that she might have died around three days ago, said Mathur.
However, a doctor who was present at the site said administration had started providing oxygen into the borewell around nine to ten hours after the girl’s fall.
A camera was installed inside the borewell to monitor the condition and situation of the child, said a senior police official.
When hard concrete hampered the rescue works, a couple of people, experts in stone-cutting, came forward to cut the stone. The hard rock slab, located in the horizontal tunnel between the bore-well and the pit, was dug up to rescue the child and caused major delay in the rescue operation.
The contribution of people in cutting the slab is very significant, confirmed Joint Commissioner of Police Anil Rao.
Deputy Commissioner P C Meena, who supervised the operation, said the administration left no stone unturned and did its best to rescue the child. Lack of sufficient space to move quickly was another reason for the delay, said the DC.
He said he had to seeek the Army’s help after the National Disaster Management Authority officials showed their helplessness in such situation.
The child’s body was handed over to the parents who proceeded towards their native place at Aligarh in Uttar Pradesh for last rites.