Karnataka borewell accident: Rescue operations to save 6-year-old still on after 24 hours

A six-year-old girl, who fell into a borewell in Karnataka's Belagavi district on Saturday evening, is yet to be rescued 24 hours after the incident. The girl, Kaveri, was playing with her friends when she slipped into the 400-foot borewell on Saturday evening at Jhunjharwadi village, a National Disaster Response Force member said.

Representational image. Ibnlive

Representational image. Ibnlive

The official, who did not wish to be named, said rescue operations are challenging due to the hard soil and rocks around the borewell. "We have dug a 10-feet tunnel so far and efforts are on to dig 20 feet more to reach Kaveri and pull her out of the borewell at the earliest," he said.

The rescue team earlier made a vain attempt to pull her out with hooks and ropes, he said.

"The team also attempted to pull out Kaveri with hooks and ropes from the narrow and dark hole but did not succeed," the official added.

A report by The Hindu said NDRF personnel and Hatti Gold Mine are relentlessly working to bring Kaveri out. They have drilled a vertical trench, and are now drilling a horizontal tunnel to get to the girl.

According to The Times of India, the girl's movements are being monitored through a camera inside the well. Sources said the borewell was located on a farm owned by one Shankar Hipparagi, at a time when Kaveri was out collecting firewood with her mother.

The girl's mother, who fainted on learning about the incident, has been hospitalised, officials said.

Karnataka Chief Minister Siddaramaiah on Saturday said strict action would be initiated against the land owner and borewell contractor for the incident. "It is the responsibility of the landowner and borewell contractor to inform the gram panchayat about the borewell being open without covering or fencing it," he said in Bengaluru.

In a related development, Bharatiya Janata Party state unit president BS Yeddyurappa urged the state government to take steps to prevent children becoming victims of such open borewells.

"Such a tragedy can be averted if the authorities covered or shut down the borewell, which dried up due to severe drought and scorching summer in the region," said Yeddyurappa in Bengaluru.

With inputs from agencies

Updated Date: Apr 24, 2017 16:18 PM

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