Bagalkot (Karnataka), Aug 5:
A six-year-old boy, trapped in a deep borewell since Sunday afternoon on the outskirts of a village in north Karnataka’s Bagalkot district, was seen covered under mud even as a massive operation is on to rescue him, police said Monday.
“The boy (Thimanna) is fully covered under mud with just four fingers of one hand seen through a remote camera lowered into the borewell where he is stuck at a depth of 160 feet,” Inspector General of Police Bhaskar Rao told reporters at the spot.
Thimanna fell into the 240-feet abandoned borewell in his father’s sugarcane farm at Sulikeri in Badami taluk, about 30km from Bagalkot town and 550 km northwest of Bangalore.
According to the boy’s friends, Thimanna went to the farm to show his cousin where the borewell was dug and how deep it was but plunged into it as it was not fenced and soil around it was slippery due to rains.
“The rescue operation is being carried on war-footing as we are racing against time to extricate the boy though the latest view of him through the CCTV camera does not show any movement of his hand or fingers unlike 24 hours ago,” Rao noted.
Besides supplying oxygen through a pipe round-the-clock to enable Thimanna breathe and stay alive, the rescue team is monitoring the condition in the borewell through the CCTV camera, which is relaying images, including insects crawling around him.
The rescue team consists of a dozen members from the National Disaster Rescue Force and 10 experts from the state-run Hutti Gold Mines in the neighbouring Raichur district.
District fire brigade and emergency services personnel are assisting the team in the rescue effort.
“As an attempt to pull the boy through a robot arm using a pulley failed during the day due to technical snag, efforts are on to use it again, as digging of a parallel pit using five excavators and building a ramp to reach him at such depth will take more time,” Rao said.
About 10 tippers have also been deployed to remove the soil dug out near the spot.
A well-equipped ambulance has been kept ready at the spot for emergency treatment of Thimanna once he is pulled out and to rush him to the state-run district hospital here.
Anxious parents and relatives of Thimanna are also camping at their farm site with hopes of seeing him come out alive.
Meanwhile, special prayers were held at Thimanna’s school in the village and in temples, mosques and churches at many places, including Bagalkot, Bangalore, Chikaballapur, Davangere, Madikeri and Mandya across the state for his safe rescue.
As hundreds of people from the surrounding villages and towns have been flocking to the village to watch the rescue operation, police deployed a large contingent to cordon off the area and maintain vigil at the spot.