Two men repairing borewell buried alive

Two men repairing borewell buried alive

A village near here witnessed heartrending scenes on Wednesday as two men were buried alive and a third died of shock on hearing of the tragedy.

Shankrappa Mallappa Banada (38) and Basavaraj Sanganabasappa Bellad were about to remove the casing of a defunct borewell at Savadi in Ron taluk when the soil around the pit began to slide in.

Farmer Shankrappa and Basavaraj, his farm help, were trapped. Shankrappa’s father Mallappa (60), who owns the land, raced up a ladder and had a providential escape.

Another tragedy struck within minutes. Sangappa, Mallappa’s 70-year-old brother, collapsed and died when he heard of his nephew’s death. Mallappa and the others had dug a pit 25 feet deep around the borewell on Tuesday.

They resumed working on Wednesday. At 10.30 am, when they had just two feet to go to remove the casing, the earth began to cave in. Shankrappa and Basavaraj were stuck at a depth of 30 feet, and could do little to save themselves. Mallappa scrambled out, using a ladder.

In the fields, some men were grazing sheep. Mallappa ran up to them and explained what had happened. They in turn alerted locals at the village in Ron taluk, who rushed in to help.

A crowd gathered, and some people came with an earthmover. People started scooping out the earth around the borewell.

After an operation lasting three hours and a half, they pulled out the two bodies.Deputy Commissioner Manoj Jain and Superintendent of Police K Santosh Babu supervised the rescue efforts.

Jain said revenue and mines officials would launch a campaign to make people aware of the precautions to be taken when a borewell casing is removed.

Relief for kin

Chief Minister Siddaramaiah has announced Rs 2 lakh each as compensation for the next of kin of the two men who died in the accident.

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