After 96 hours, two-year-old’s body recovered from borewell (Second Lead)

October 13th, 2008 - 8:06 pm ICT by IANS  

Agra, Oct 13 (IANS) The slender hope that he may miraculously survive the ordeal snapped Monday when rescue workers finally reached two-year-old Sonu, who fell into a 150-foot-deep borewell, but came out with his lifeless body. With their prayers unanswered and hopes dashed, a pall of gloom has descended upon his village near here. Sonu’s body was recovered by rescue workers more than 96 hours after he fell into an open borewell while playing near his home in Leharkapura village near Agra at 10 a.m. Thursday.

“Sonu’s dead body has been recovered from the deep borewell,” Senior Superintendent of Police Raghuvir Lal told IANS at around 11.30 a.m.

The body was taken in a waiting ambulance to the S.N. Medical College in Agra for postmortem.

An army rescue team had dug a horizontal tunnel to reach Sonu, who was stuck halfway down the pit. Mounds of earth caved in thrice, delaying the operation work by at least 24 hours.

The child’s parents, who are farmers, were grief-stricken. His mother had not been eating properly for the past few days and fainted Sunday. She was given glucose and her health too is being closely monitored, an official said.

Villagers and officials were doubtful about Sonu’s survival since Saturday - even though oxygen was being pumped into the borewell - as there was no sign of life. Doctors now say the child may have died Thursday itself.

“For all you know it would require supernatural powers to survive in that death hole,” an official had said Sunday.

Villagers had gathered at the site, conducting special prayers for days and hoping against hope for a miracle, but Sonu could not survive the ordeal.

The state government has announced a compensation of Rs.100,000 to Sonu’s parents.

On Friday, angry villagers waiting at the site shouted slogans against the administration, alleging that the officials were not making full efforts. But Senior Superintendent of police Raghuvir Lal denied any delay in rescue work and said that army personnel worked tirelessly for four days.

“Sonu was lodged 72 feet below… it was not an easy rescue operation,” he said.

Officials said that it was one of the toughest operations carried out under severe pressure of time and hostile terrain. A nearby pond further complicated rescue work.

Lal said that a case under 304 A (causing death due to negligence) has been filed against a contractor and Jal Nigam engineers.

The administration has now ordered that the pit be levelled.

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