Rescue efforts, prayers for girl trapped in shaft

March 26th, 2008 - 6:43 pm ICT by admin  

(Lead)

Agra, March 26 (IANS) Hectic efforts were under way Wednesday to rescue a three-year-old girl who fell into a 50-foot deep bore well in a village near here, even as her family and thousands of villagers prayed for her safety. Vandana, from village Hulaspura in Saiyan block of Agra, fell into the uncovered cylindrical pit near her home Tuesday evening.

Army personnel, police and fire brigade experts were working hard to save the girl, who has been provided with glucose, oranges and oxygen in the well.

Rescuers were digging a parallel pit nearly 10 feet away from the bore well to reach the child.

“We are moving ahead carefully. Her life is priority and we cannot take any chances. If it takes long it doesn’t matter,” said an army official involved in the rescue operation.

Earlier, little Vandana could be heard crying, indicating that she was alive. The girl responds to her father’s calls every few minutes, a police official said.

“Vandana is alive. She is crying occasionally and has been given glucose. We are very hopeful that we will save her,” said Senior Superintendent of Police Neera Rawat.

The three-year-old’s mother and thousands of villagers were throughout the day praying for her life.

“Perhaps it is the combined force of the prayers of so many people that she is still alive in such adverse conditions,” said Ram Pal, a villager.

An ambulance with a panel of doctors has been camping at the site, ready to take Vandana to Agra for medical examination as soon as she is rescued, an official said.

Less than two years ago, in July 2006, another five-year-old boy, named Prince, had fallen into a nearly 60-ft deep shaft near his home in Shahbad in Kurukshetra, Haryana. Little Prince survived the ordeal after the army rescued him after rescue operations that stretched beyond two full days.

A parallel tunnel was dug up from a dried up well alongside the shaft to rescue Prince after almost 50 hours.

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